ABPI supports NICE implementation resource on biosimilar infliximab

August 18, 2015 12:27 PM

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) welcomes the publication of the 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.  National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (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.”

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