28 November 2016
Visiting UK clinician may have the solution to healthcare affordability, enabling wider patient access to the latest medicines while delivering savings to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) budget.
Dr Paul Cornes, an oncologist from Bristol is visiting Australia this week to encourage doctors and policy makers to embrace the patient and health system opportunities with biosimilars and to share international best practice as a key to advancing future care.
This is an excellent opportunity for Australia to hear from an international expert who uses biosimilars in his clinical practice and influences healthcare policy throughout Europe.
Speaking from personal experience, Dr Cornes will meet with a range of policy makers, clinicians, and consumer groups, providing examples of how government policy can enhance individual patient care. He has seen how greater uptake of biosimilars deliver affordable healthcare, the best patient outcomes and can fund future innovations in medicine.
As an example, he will outline how biosimilar filgrastim (used to treat neutropenia, or low white blood cell count, that threatens infections in people undergoing cancer chemotherapy) enables him to treat patients with lower risk or earlier stage disease, resulting in five times more patients being treated over two years, all while delivering millions in NHS savings that can be reinvested in new treatments.
Dr Cornes will encourage Australian doctors to take a leadership role in using biosimilars and not to let a perceived risk of immunogenicity prevent them from embracing the opportunity with biosimilars, outlining that in over ten years of clinical experience with biosimilars in Europe, enhanced immunogenicity has not been observed.
A biosimilar is a biological medicine that is determined to be comparable in quality, safety, and efficacy to the reference biological medicine following a full evaluation by the TGA. Biosimilars offer therapeutically equivalent and more cost-effective alternatives to existing, high-cost biological medicines.
Previously the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA), the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association announced a name change in July 2015 to signal the significant role the association will continue to play in the access to affordable medicines.
The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association is the national association representing companies that manufacture, supply and export generic and biosimilar medicines. The generic and biosimilar medicines sector is a high value-add sector delivering significant health and economic benefits to the Australian public.
The availability of generic and biosimilar medicines in this country helps to deliver:
- timely access to affordable medicines; substantial savings to the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme; and
- thousands of highly skilled jobs; and domestic manufacturing and exports of over $300
Generic and biosimilar medicines deliver the same health benefit to all Australians as the original brand and they must meet the same strict Australian standards, including the same manufacturing requirements, as branded medicines.