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Biosimilar medical products – licensing, pharmacovigilance and interchangeability


The use of biological medicine has significantly increased in recent decades and has made substantial contributions to improving the effectiveness of therapies in many diseases. The expiration of patents of biological innovative medicines enables copies of those drugs called similar biological products (biosimilars) to be approved by regulatory authorities and to enter in clinical use. Biosimilars are comparable but not identical and are not a generic version of the innovator biological product. Although biosimilars undergo rigorous characterization as well as clinical studies to prove their safety and effectiveness, specific regulatory requirements for registration apply in the case of biosimilars. They are highly complex molecules and small changes in the production process can have major implications in its safety and effectiveness profile. The availability of biosimilars enhances competition, with the potential to improve patient access to biological medicines and to contribute to the financial sustainability of healthcare systems. In order to be certain that a biosimilar reaches its potential in clinical use, an intensive pharmacovigilance monitoring system must be established in order to prove the true similarity between the original biologic and its biosimilar. There is a need for further guidance and resolution of the ongoing discussions on biosimilar labelling, naming, pharmacovigilance and substitution in order to ensure effective and appropriate use of biosimilars in clinical practice.

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Stosowanie leków biopodobnych w hematoonkologii – stanowisko Polskiego Towarzystwa Hematologów i Transfuzjologów


Leki biopodobne odgrywają coraz większą rolę w terapii wielu chorób wraz z wygaśnięciem ochrony patentowej dla kolejnych leków biologicznych. Celem niniejszego opracowania jest przybliżenie terminologii i zasad wprowadzania na rynek leków biopodobnych, zagadnień dotyczących ich etykietowania, ekstrapolacji, wymienialności i automatycznej substytucji. Opracowanie to przedstawia stanowisko Polskiego Towarzystwa Hematologów i Transfuzjologów dotyczące leków biopodobnych, oparte na wytycznych EMA (European Medicine Agency) i stanowisku ESMO (European Society of Medical Oncology).

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Biosimilar medicines and patient registries – expectations, limitations, and opportunities


Introduction: Biology therapies in a various medical specializations and for a broad spectrum of indications were launched during last two decades. As a new in class the therapies were obliged to provide additional data re gar ding efficacy and safety after their real medical practice integration. Patient registries, databases collecting various patient data, were introduced to grant data on the treatment effectiveness, safety, and long-term on treatment survival. Satisfactory treatment effect and acceptable safety profile were confirmed after couple of years of careful observation. However, the benefits were usually offered at much higher treatment costs compared to the standard therapies. Biologically similar drugs, so-called biosimilars (B.S), are being launched after original molecule patent protection expiry during recent years. They were expected as an ideal solution to avoid distinct impact on the medical budget: comparable effect for less money. The unsubstantiated doubts about biosimilar efficacy and safety were the reason of the late launch in many markets. Since biosimilars are considered as new therapy entities, the cautiousness to certain extent should be required. Information gained from post-marketing observations and patient registries over several years, confirmed the biosimilar product comparable quality. Healthcare budget savings could secure easier therapy access for more new patients.

Open access