Physician awareness and perceptions towards biosimilars are important factors in their adoption to clinical practice. Our objectives were to assess levels of knowledge and attitudes towards biosimilars and key policies on their use among Russian physicians, define the level of interest in new information on biosimilars, and determine what evidence drives treatment decisions in Russia. Physicians with awareness of biologics across different specialties and regions of Russia completed an online survey. A Likert and other rating scales were used to collect opinions, which were summarized descriptively. Responses of subgroups of respondents were compared using t-tests. Among 206 respondents (n = 51 rheumatologists; n = 53 gastroenterologists; n = 50 hematologists; n = 52 oncologists), 66% had positive impressions regarding the introduction of biosimilars in Russia. Overall, 80% lacked understanding of the differences between biosimilars and generics. In all, 67% supported prescribing biologics by distinguishable names and were negative about tender policies limiting choice of therapies for patients. The majority believed in mandatory publication of clinical trial results on biosimilars (94%), agreed biosimilars should be subject to rigorous post-marketing surveillance (98%), and expressed willingness to learn more about biosimilars (94%). Biosimilar education among Russian physicians is required, which may help shape balanced and evidence-based policies for biosimilars in Russia.
Keywords: Russia; awareness; biosimilars; education; perceptions; physicians.