The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) welcomes the publication of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) resource to help support the appropriate introduction of biosimilar versions of infliximab into the NHS.
As originator biologics come off patent and more biosimilar medicines become available, it is important that staff in the NHS with responsibility for prescribing, administering, supplying and monitoring all biological medicines are given appropriate information and support. This will help the NHS make the most of the opportunity provided by a more competitive marketplace for biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines. NICE's publication is a helpful contribution in this regard.
As NICE's implementation resource rightly points out, there are a number of specific considerations related to the more widespread introduction of biosimilars. Brand name prescribing is particularly important for all biological medicines to ensure that patients receive the medicine their clinician intended. Recording brand name and batch number also makes certain that any adverse reactions can be traced back to the correct manufacturer and batch, which is vital for patient safety.
The case studies provided in the NICE resource are a helpful illustration of the approach being taken to the introduction of biosimilar medicines in some areas. As evidence collected through clinical practice evolves, best practice can be developed to help inform activity across the NHS.
Treatment decisions should be made first on the basis of clinical judgement for individual patients and secondly on the basis of the overall value proposition offered by individual medicines. The ABPI firmly supports NICE's position paper on biosimilar medicines which states,
"the decision regarding the choice of biosimilar or originator biologic for an individual patient rests with the responsible clinician in consultation with the patient
ABPI's Director of Value & Access, Paul Catchpole, said:
"ABPI is pleased that NICE has published this helpful implementation resource, which will support NHS organisations put in place the necessary steps to consider the introduction of greater numbers of biosimilar medicines as they reach the market."
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Biologic Medicines Access Group (ABPI BMAG) is comprised of both originator biological medicine manufacturers and biosimilar medicine manufacturers and is focused on raising awareness and understanding of biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines.
ABPI Press OfficeTelephone: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 or +44 (0) 20 7747 1441Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064 or +44 (0) 7808 641811Email: firstname.lastname@example.org