Founded and sponsored by Sandoz, the Act4Biosimilars initiative launches the Deep Dive Report for Europe, exposing the challenges preventing greater patient access to biosimilars in this region. The report encourages local stakeholders to use the Act4Biosimilars Action Plan to establish the strategies, tools, and activities needed to increase equitable patient access to biologic medicines and support healthcare system sustainability on a global scale.
Zorana Maravic, CEO of Digestive Cancers Europe and Act4Biosimilars Steering Committee member said: “Biosimilars are a win-win situation for patients and healthcare systems alike. As a pioneer in the regulation and adoption of biosimilars, you would expect high and equitable levels of adoption across Europe. However, hundreds of thousands of patients each year are missing out on medicines with a proven track record of being effective and safe. This must improve, no patient should be left behind.”
Although Europe has been a pioneer in the adoption of biosimilars, the Deep Dive report reveals differences country by country, including disparities between Eastern and Western Europe.1 Additionally, within Western Europe adoption of biosimilars varies significantly between countries, and among disease areas. The report explores this, and the following insights:
Anti-competitive tender processes threaten a healthy market for future biosimilar medicines.
Stark inequalities across the region, particularly in Eastern Europe. This is partly due to diverse reimbursement and procurement processes, signposting opportunities for cost savings and increased patient access.
In many Eastern European countries, healthcare professionals are not provided with biosimilar educational materials in local languages which impacts their comfort with prescribing these medicines.
Biosimilars present an affordable, effective treatment option which have expanded access to advanced biologics, resulting in earlier, broader treatment- for patients. Since they were introduced in 2006, they have created over €30 billion in cumulative savings for European healthcare systems as of 2022.2
Prof. Arnold Vulto, Independent Consultant and Educator, Vulto Pharma Education & Consultancy (VuPEC) and Act4Biosimilars Steering Committee member, said, “No healthcare system can afford not to use biosimilars. But we need to nurture their future, by ensuring measures are taken to reduce the cost of developing biosimilars as well as more sustainable tender processes that encourage healthy competition. These barriers must be addressed in order to support biosimilar adoption, expand access for patients and generate much-needed savings for healthcare systems.”
Following the publication of the report, the Steering Committee will be reaching out to local stakeholders across Europe to explore opportunities that support better adoption of biosimilars through implementation of the Action Plan. The Steering Committee will turn its focus to Middle East & Africa in Q1 2024, and Asia Pacific in Q2 2024.
For more information, visit https://www.act4biosimilars.com
1. IQVIA Unlocking Biosimilar Potential, April 2023
2. IQVIA. The Impact of Biosimilar Competition in Europe, 2022.
3. European Medicines Agency and European Commission. Biosimilars in the EU: information guide for healthcare professionals. 2019. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/leaflet/biosimilars-eu-information-guide-healthcare-professionals_en.pdf