On Biosimilars – Developments in the Path to Affordable and Accessible Healthcare

May 27, 2021
On Biosimilars - Developments in the Path to Affordable and Accessible Healthcare
  • DiCE input towards The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe
  • Zorana Maravic takes part in ‘From Disruption to Care for Cancer Patients’ at the Biosimilar Medicines Virtual Summit organised by Medicines for Europe
  • Activities fortify ongoing expert focus on biosimilars by Digestive Cancers Europe

In April this year, the organisation participated in the public consultation of The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe; this document, presented by the European Commission last year, provides a comprehensive EU action plan on pharmaceuticals, built around four major objectives, including increasing access and affordability of medicines. The Strategy places a special emphasis on improving access to biosimilar and generic medicines and outlines that biosimilars provide many patients with accessible and affordable treatments. Discover the Digestive Cancer Europe input to the public consultation.

Participation in Biosimilars Event

Zorana Maravic, Acting CEO, DiCE spoke and participated in the panel discussion of the session From Disruption to Care for Cancer Patients at the Biosimilar Medicines Virtual Summit organised by Medicines for Europe earlier this month.

The session addressed the topic of how the use of biosimilar oncology medicines can actively contribute to the success of the EU Beating Cancer plan. The overall objective of the three-session meeting was to bring together the views of different stakeholders on enhancing the value of biosimilars to healthcare systems and to patients.

Zorana Maravic emphasised the importance of biological treatments for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). She noted the differences in access to biologic treatments, not just between different European countries, but also between different hospitals in the same country.

For mCRC patients, this treatment means prolonged survival. Biosimilars offer the opportunity for more patients to be treated for the same amount of money, improving access to biologic treatments. Another important point Zorana raised was the importance on how the savings produced by the use of biosimilars are spent: ‘We are advocating for the savings to be re-invested in a transparent way to cancer care and services for the benefit of patients.’

All the sessions of the meeting were recorded and are now available through the links provided in the programme.

Digestive Cancers Europe – Biosimilars as Area for Expert Focus

DiCE has been working on the value of biosimilars over the past years and in 2019 produced a position paper on the use of biosimilars in CRC. In 2020, DiCE initiated an educational project around biosimilar resources available for healthcare professionals and CRC patients.

Background information – Biosimilars

Biological medicines, also called biologics, are big molecules that are produced in living cells or organisms. They have a complicated structure and are complex to manufacture. In cancer, biologics are used as immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatments. A biologic with an active substance not previously used to treat any disease is known as an originator. When an originator’s patent expires other new products with the same active substance can enter the market. These new products are known as biosimilars. A biosimilar is a biological medicine that has essentially the same active substance and the same indication as the originator. Biosimilars match their originators in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. Biosimilars have been proven to be advantageous to European health systems, hospitals and ultimately the patient community, as they contribute to more sustainable and affordable healthcare systems.

If you have questions on this topic please contact us.

Vassiliki Fotaki

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