From "blockbusters" to "biosimilars": an opportunity for patients, medical specialists and health care providers

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Dec;25(6):483-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Sep 23.


Advances in basic research and research and development plans of pharmaceutical companies are radically changing the kind of available drugs and therapeutic targets. We are switching from predominantly chemical molecules, aimed at treating large populations of patients (blockbuster drugs), to a new generation of products, mostly biotech, aimed at modifying a specific pathogenetic mechanism. In other word we are moving fast to targeted therapy, which represents the first step toward personalized therapy, where the right drug at the right dose is administered to the right person, at the right time. Like the patent expiration of chemical products has corresponded to the development of generic drugs, the expiration of new biotech products will witness the appearance of biosimilars. The latter are biologic products that are highly similar but not identical to the reference medical products in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. This implies specific research, clinical monitoring, physicians updating of knowledge for a safe and appropriate use of these products. We are the beginning of a devolution in patient's care and physicians' practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products / administration & dosage
  • Biological Products / adverse effects
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / administration & dosage
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / adverse effects
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Industry / methods
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Drugs, Generic / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Patents as Topic
  • Precision Medicine / methods


  • Biological Products
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Drugs, Generic