European Commission launches patient-focused Q&A on biosimilars in 23 languages

November 30, 2017 12:20 PM

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The European Commission launched additional translations of the Q&A paperWhat I Need to Know about Biosimilar Medicines – Information for patients’’ making it available now in 23 official European languages, in order to provide patients with easy-to-understand information about biosimilar medicines.

The Q&A was written to empower patients by providing answers to the most-frequently-asked questions on biosimilar medicines.

What are biosimilar medicines? How are they produced? How are they approved? Are they safe? – These questions and many more are addressed in this paper. Empowering patients to engage, discuss and participate in decisions on their treatment options is key to improving patient outcomes and contributing to the effective treatment of their individual condition(s).

In Europe, the introduction of biosimilar medicines brings competition, with the potential to improve patient access to biological medicines and contribute to healthcare system sustainability.  Biosimilar medicines help treat many complex diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease). Biosimilar medicines have been used safely in the EU since 2006 as an alternative to reference medicines.

This Q&A is an initiative by the European Commission Directorate General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow) on access to biosimilar medicines in Europe, in relation to the Corporate Responsibility Programme. This consensus information on biosimilar medicinal products was drafted by and for patients together with representatives of the European Medicines Agency, the European Commission and concerned stakeholders [the European Patients Forum (EPF), the European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), the Standing Committee of European Doctors, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), European Association for BioIndustries (EuropaBio) and Medicines for Europe]. The Q&A was first launched in English in January 2017.

The above stakeholders would like to congratulate the European Commissions’ DG GROW and the European Medicines Agency on the developments during this programme. The Patient Q&A amongst other documents, such as “Biosimilars in the EU – Information guide for healthcare professionals” and “What you Need to Know about Biosimilar Medicinal Products – A Consensus Information Document”, have contributed significantly to the increased understanding and acceptance of biosimilar medicines.

 

Source: Press release

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