Biosimilar medicines

Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2019 Mar;26(2):117-118. doi: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2018-001821. Epub 2019 Feb 21.


Biological medicines have become indispensable in the treatment of patients with serious diseases such as cancer and inflammatory diseases. Biosimilars are medicines which are developed to be similar to existing biological medicines (the 'reference product'). For the European market, they are approved by the European Medicines Agency. Owing to the rising importance of biosimilar medicines, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) decided to set out its position on key issues concerning biosimilar medicines in a position paper. The topics included the role of hospital pharmacists in the uptake of biosimilar medicines in healthcare with regard to selection, procurement, logistics, information, education and collecting real-life experience (eg, in monitoring and pharmacovigilance). In addition, the paper touches on the views of the association for the naming of biosimilar medicines, extrapolation of indications, interchangeability, switching and substitution of biosimilar medicines and the provision of information about biosimilar medicines.

Keywords: biosimilar medicines; extrapolation; hospital pharmacist; interchangability; position paper.