Biosimilars provide a unique opportunity to help manage the growing costs of biological medicines on the PBS. They offer therapeutically equivalent and more cost-effective alternatives to existing, high-cost biological medicines. This means that savings can be made, or more patients can be treated within the same budget.
Biological medicines are created by biologic processes, as distinct from medicines that are chemically synthesised, and are used to treat a range of conditions from cancer and diabetes to arthritis and auto-immune diseases. They are expensive, are being increasingly prescribed by doctors and therefore are now the fastest growing segment of PBS expenditure.
When relevant patents have expired, biological medicines can also be marketed by companies other than the company that originally marketed the product. This novel subclass of biological medicines is most commonly known as ‘biosimilars”. A biosimilar is a biological medicine that is comparable in quality, safety, and efficacy to the reference biological medicine.”
In November 2016 GBMA hosted Dr Paul Cornes, an oncologist from Bristol who came to Australia to encourage doctors and policy makers to embrace the patient and health system opportunities that exist with biosimilars. He came to share his experience in international best practice as a key to advancing future care. To read a comprehensive interview with Paul featured in PharmaDispatch simply click on this link Dr Paul Corners, Oncologist
For further information on Biosimilars simply click here to be taken directly to the GBMA Guide to Biosimilars