Cost saving opportunities need to be balanced with physician and patient values; savings should be re-invested into new oncology therapies.
May 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Biologic treatments have been approved and used in Canada for several decades, marking the beginning of an exciting time for the treatment of many diseases as these therapies
truly changed the outcomes for many patients living with chronic and often fatal diseases. As patents expire on biologic products, biosimilar products have become available, with several oncology biosimilars currently being assessed by various regulatory agencies.
Given that patents are expiring on various breast cancer treatments, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) wanted to ensure that the perspectives of physicians and breast cancer patients were considered as policies around the implementation of biosimilars are being developed. Through consultation with physicians and patients, CBCN has outlined five key recommendations for consideration when implementing biosimilars in oncology:
- Patient Education: It's imperative that patients receive educational materials about biosimilars to ensure an understanding of the treatment they are receiving.
- Health Care Professional Education: It's critical that health care professionals who are treating patients receiving biosimilars have appropriate education to ensure a clear communication with patients.
- Appropriate Tracking: Clear, distinct naming of biosimilars and extensive tracking of all products needs to be mandated to ensure patient safety.
- Switching: Patients who are currently being successfully treated with a biologic treatment should remain on the treatment they started and should not be forced to switch to another biologic/biosimilar treatment.
- Post-Market Surveillance: Rigorous post-market surveillance needs to be conducted to collect real-world evidence and instill confidence in biosimilars products.
Read the full "Biosimilars & Breast Cancer" white paper for further details around the perspectives and values of physicians and patients.
SOURCE Canadian Breast Cancer Network