To focus on the role of biosimilar medicines in supporting a sustainable healthcare system
- Biosimilar Week to run from 29 April to 3 May 2019
- Featuring the launch of the 2019 Biosimilar Education Program for healthcare professionals
- Developed collaboratively by representatives across medical specialities, government health experts and the medicines industry
- Co-ordinated by GBMA Education Ltd, with funding from the Australian Government
Canberra, ACT – 7th March 2019 – GBMA Education Ltd, the educational arm of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, is pleased to confirm that the inaugural “Biosimilar Week” will run from 29 April to 3 May 2019. The week will commence with an official announcement from the Hon Greg Hunt, Health Minister, highlighting the critical role that biosimilar medicines play in the future of a sustainable healthcare system in Australia.
Biosimilar Week is an integral component of a comprehensive 3-year education program focusing on the appropriate use of biosimilar medicines, which has been developed collaboratively by experts across medical specialities, government and the medicines industry. The Program is coordinated by GBMA Education and funded by the Australian Government through the Biosimilar Educational Grant, announced in April 2018.
“The Government is proud of its support for the $5 million Biosimilar Education Grant. The aim of the grant is to support awareness of, and confidence in, the use of biosimilar medicines for healthcare professionals and consumers. The inaugural Biosimilar Week will generate rich discussion around the role for biosimilar medicines in Australia,” said Minister Hunt.
The week’s activities will include:
- launch of an interactive online education hub
- literature updates on biosimilar medicines and medical education for speciality groups and pharmacists
- details of 2019 educational events
- video talks from multi-disciplinary Australian specialists, providing the latest insights and experience around the use of biosimilar medicines
Advances in biological medicines have supported substantial improvements in the lives of many Australians living with a range of illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. As the registration, adoption and ongoing use of biosimilar medicines increases, lower prices for biological medicines could provide Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidies for broader access to medicines and enable investment in further research into life-changing therapies.
Marnie Peterson, GBMA Education CEO, appreciates the extensive support provided by a wide range of healthcare and industry professionals in developing the program so far, and is looking forward to continuing this valuable consultation process.
“GBMA Education extends grateful thanks to the many experts who have offered significant assistance in developing a robust and relevant educational program for healthcare professionals, launching in Biosimilar Week,” she said. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Australian Government on delivering this program under the Biosimilar grant and look forward to facilitating further discussion and debate in this important and rapidly evolving area of medicine.”
Healthcare professionals are invited to register their interest for Biosimilar Week and the 2019 Education Program here: biosimilarweek.com.au
About biosimilar medicines
Biological medicines are pharmaceutical products that contain one or more active substances derived from living cells or organisms1. A biosimilar medicine is a highly similar version of an already registered biological medicine (the reference biological medicine)1.
Biosimilar medicines are used in Europe, USA, Australia and many other countries and since 2006 over 700 million patient days of exposure to more than 20 biosimilar medicines have been recorded2,3,4,5.
The regulatory conditions required for biosimilar medicines in Australia mean that a biosimilar medicine approved for use in the Australian market can be said to have no clinically meaningful difference and be therapeutically equivalent to its reference biological medicine1,6.
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 was awarded the Biosimilar Education Grant by the Australian Government in April 2018 and formed GBMA Education to deliver the educational program. The purpose of the Grant is to increase confidence in the use of biosimilar brands of biological medicines that are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Through the increased use of biosimilar medicines, the objective is to support a competitive market for biological medicines via peer-to-peer health communication activities.
Further information and resources
For ongoing communications from GBMA Education regarding biosimilar medicines, including news and research updates, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Subscribe me to biosimilars news’.
Media enquiries for GBMA Education are coordinated by Cube Public Relations. Please contact Cube in the first instance via: GBMAmediaenquiries@cube.com.au or M: 0438 231 287 (Kelly Smith) / 0417 421 560 (Anne-Marie Sparrow).
1. Australian Government – Department of Health. Biosimilar medicines: the basics for health care professionals. P11756. Updated: March 2017. Available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/Biosimilar-medicines-the-basics-for-healthcare-professionals-brochure.pdf. Accessed 6 March 2019
2. Cohen H, Beydoun D, Chien D et al. Adv Ther 2016;33(12):2160-2172.
3. Ward M. Literature Review of International Biosimilar Medicines: Update June – September 2016. Accessed from: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/biosimilar-literature-review. Accessed 6 March 2019
4. Ward M. Literature Review of International Biosimilar Medicines: Update December 2017 – February 2018. Updated: 24 April 2018. Accessed from: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/biosimilar-literature-review. Accessed 6 March 2019
5. Van den Hoven A. Biosimilar medicines clinical use: an experience based-EU perspective. Available at https://www.medicinesforeurope.com/docs/20170713%20-%20Biosimilar%20Medicines%20Group,%20EU%20experience-AVH-US%20FDA%20Adcom.pdf. Accessed 6 March 2019
6. Therapeutic Goods Administration. Biosimilar medicines regulation, Version 2.2. Accessed from: https://www.tga.gov.au/publication/biosimilar-medicines-regulation. Updated April 2018. Accessed 6 March 2019