A biosimilar is a successor to a biological medicine (also known as "reference medicine") for which the patent has expired and exclusivity has been lost. Biosimilars match their respective reference medicine in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. Hence, the biosimilar can be expected to behave in the same way as the reference medicine in all indications and patient populations that the reference medicines are approved in. Biosimilars are used in the treatment and prevention of many disabling and life-threatening diseases such as cancer, psoriasis, arthritis, and diabetes.
"As a result of their affordability, biosimilars have opened up a new realm of possibility for patients by enabling biological medicines to become more widely available to those in need of these advanced, life-changing treatments," said Zorana Maravic, CEO, Digestive Cancers Europe. "However, until we address existing biosimilar access inequities, far too many patients will continue to miss out on treatment with the best possible medicines."
Act4Biosimilars.com outlines the 12 goals that have been identified under the 4As by the Steering Committee to achieve the mission. These include ensuring equitable pricing, involving patients in treatment decisions and streamlining biosimilar development.
As an immediate next step, the Steering Committee is developing an Action Plan to provide the strategies, tools and activities needed to equip and empower stakeholders to realize these 12 goals, across the 30 countries and beyond. The Action Plan will be supported by Country Indicator Maps to track and measure the change that is being driven by groups, associations and organizations worldwide.
"While countries such as Norway are leading the way in biosimilar adoption and have successfully realized significant healthcare savings through increasing availability of biosimilars, there are other countries still progressing and aspiring to reach their full potential," said Professor emeritus Tore K Kvien, previous Head of Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital for 25 years. "Misinformation on the safety, efficacy and science of biosimilars continues to cause confusion and impede uptake. With the Act4Biosimilars Action Plan, we will prioritize the steps needed to help better educate, inform and create action across all countries and regions."
The Steering Committee will co-create the Action Plan with a group of biosimilar experts and key stakeholders, including patient organizations, healthcare professionals, trade associations, think tanks, government bodies and professional societies.
Act4Biosimilars is supported by founding sponsor Sandoz, a pioneer and global leader in biosimilars, who developed and brought the first biosimilar medicine to patients 16 years ago.
"Healthcare systems are facing more pressure than ever before, which can be attributed to the costs associated with a growing, aging population, more people being diagnosed with chronic diseases and, most recently, the pandemic," said Richard Saynor, Chief Executive Officer, Sandoz. "Biosimilars are part of the solution to support a more sustainable healthcare system for all and we are proud to be the founding sponsor of Act4Biosimilars, which will drive action to bring these more affordable treatment options to patients who need them."
About Act4BiosimilarsAct4Biosimilars is a global initiative aimed at increasing patient access to biologic medicines by facilitating greater approvability, accessibility, acceptability and affordability of biosimilars. Act4Biosimilars is led by a multidisciplinary Steering Committee of patient advocacy leaders, healthcare professionals, biosimilar experts and industry leaders from around the world, with a mission to increase the global adoption of biosimilars by at least 30% in 30+ countries by 2030. Act4Biosimilars seeks to bolster the global biosimilar movement by clearly aligning and informing action on biosimilar challenges and opportunities for patient access and sustainable healthcare and is supported by founding sponsor, Sandoz. For more information, got to Act4Biosimilars.com.
About SandozSandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2020 sales of USD 9.6 billion.