12 November 2020
- New research shows prescriber confidence to switch a patient to a biosimilar medicine has more than doubled since 2016
- Community pharmacist experience dispensing biosimilar medicines has increased by 77%
- Over 650 healthcare professionals and consumers surveyed to measure current levels of awareness and knowledge of biological, including biosimilar medicines.
The CEO of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), Ms Marnie Peterson, said whilst GBMA members are still working through the details, it was a welcomed 2020-21 Budget and one delivered at a time of unprecedented stress imposed on Australia’s healthcare system.
New research shows a significant increase in biosimilar medicine confidence, among Australian healthcare professionals and patients. The 2020 Biosimilar Medicine Market Research Report was commissioned by the GBMA Education, as part of the Biosimilar Education Grant, and comes after the highly successful Biosimilar Awareness Week in May 2020. The results of this report act as a benchmark to a survey conducted by the Department of Health in 2016(1) as part of their Biosimilar Awareness Initiative.
Confidence among specialists, to switch a patient to a biosimilar medicine, markedly increased by 52% (from 44% to 67%) since the 2016 Market Research Report. Overall confidence in the use of biosimilar medicines has also increased, with 82% of specialists now reporting confidence in the comparability of biosimilar medicines (up 12%) and 83% reporting confidence in prescribing biosimilar medicines (up 9% since 2016).
Since 2016, Community pharmacist experience with biosimilar medicines has increased dramatically, with a 77% increase (from 39% to 69%).
Community pharmacists also continue to showcase high levels of confidence in biosimilar medicines with 88% confidence in comparability, 86% confidence in efficacy and 84% confidence in counselling a patient on a biosimilar medicine.
General practitioners have the least exposure to biosimilar medicines, compared to all other surveyed healthcare profession stakeholder groups. However, GP familiarity with biosimilar medicines is on the rise with results showing a 56% increase (from 25% to 39%) since 2016. Furthermore, GP confidence has also shown notable increases with 71% of GPs reporting confidence in the comparability of biosimilar medicines (up 18%) and 69% reporting confidence in counselling a patient about biosimilar medicines (up 25%).
When confidence levels in the efficacy and the comparability of biosimilar medicines are compared across stakeholder groups, hospital pharmacists demonstrated the highest levels with 92% reporting confidence(2). Hospital pharmacists also report the highest confidence (90%) in dispensing biosimilar medicines.
Consumer/carers reported 80% confidence in switching to a biosimilar medicine (an increase of 7%). Consumers and carers also have a high confidence in taking biosimilar medicines, when prompted with information (81%). This is an increase of 12.5% since the 2016 survey.
Benefits of CPD accredited education
CPD accredited modules have seen a marked increase in prominence for biosimilar education since 2016 with 31% of specialists and GPs reporting CPD education as a source of their education. This is a notable shift from the 2016 results whereby no specialists or any GPs reported CPD accredited modules as a source of their education. Pharmacists’ utilisation of CPD modules has also increased by 23% (56% to 69%) since 2016.
As a leading provider of biosimilar education, the GBMA Education CPD3 portfolio demonstrates the benefit of a multi-faceted approach to education materials to suit the varying learning preferences across healthcare disciplines. With the recent launch of an Essential CPE module for pharmacists, worth up to 10 Group 2 CPD credits, GBMA Education will continue to release CPD accredited activities in the coming months with an ‘on-demand’ webinar series for Specialists, GPs and Pharmacists and a Nurse CPD module.
Furthermore, building on the success of the 2020 Biosimilar Awareness Week held in Australia, the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) will be supporting the upcoming ‘Global Biosimilars Week’ from 16-20 November 2020. Activities will continue the momentum and online discussions to raise awareness of biosimilar medicines and their contribution to the future sustainability of healthcare systems worldwide.
For more information visit www.biosimilarhub.com.au
1. Market Research for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) and Biosimilar Medicines Quantitative Report
2. GBMA Education notes that hospital pharmacists did not form part of the 2016 market research report, therefore a direct comparison is not possible.
3. Continuing Professional Development
ABOUT GBMA EDUCATION
GBMA Education is the educational arm of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), which is the representative body of generic and biosimilar medicine suppliers in Australia. GBMA Education was awarded the Biosimilar Education Grant by the Australian Government in April 2018.
The purpose of the Biosimilar Education Grant, awarded to GBMA Education by the Australian Government, is to increase confidence in the use of biosimilar brands of biological medicines that are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). In order for biosimilar medicines to increase market competition and improve the Government’s capacity to fund expanded access to biological medicines as they become more affordable, healthcare professional acceptance and confidence about biosimilar medicines must increase.
GBMA Education acknowledges the provision of funding by the Australian Government for the Biosimilar Education Grant Program.
For further information on biosimilar medicines and Grant activities, please visit www.biosimilarhub.com.au or contact the GBMA Education team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Cube Public Relations in the first instance via:
GBMAmediaenquiries@cube.com.au or M: 0424 785 063 (Cameron Donald) / 0417 421 560 (Anne-Marie Sparrow).