E. Moorkens , Y. Vandenplas MSc, T. Barcina Lacosta MSc, L. Barbier , AG. Vulto
Equally safe and effective alternatives to biological reference products, biosimilars, can lead to lowered treatment costs and higher patient access. With the arrival of biosimilars in the treatment of cancer (i.e., trastuzumab, rituximab, bevacizumab), it is important that oncologists gain confidence to adopt biosimilars in clinical practice. This article, the first in a series of two, emphasizes the need for biosimilars to create a competitive and sustainable biologicals market, highlights key concepts of the regulatory approval pathway of biosimilars, explains what key challenges biosimilars are facing, and what actions have been undertaken in Belgium to increase their use. We conclude with some recommendations.
L. Barbier , T. Barcina Lacosta MSc, E. Moorkens , Y. Vandenplas MSc, AG. Vulto
Biosimilars are equally safe and effective treatment options compared to their biological reference products, and can lower treatment costs and increase patient access to necessary medicines. Biosimilars in oncology have been integrated in cancer care, with the availability of supportive care biosimilars (epoetin and filgrastim) for over a decade. With the arrival of monoclonal antibody (mAb) biosimilars (trastuzumab, rituximab and bevacizumab), this article provides an up to date overview of the biosimilars available in oncology, while explaining clinical considerations important for prescribers, highlighting the need for in-depth understanding among oncologists about biosimilars and discussing the experience with oncology biosimilars in Europe and Belgium.