- ‘Education in Biosimilars’ addresses a specific need to educate patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the reason for switching to biosimilars in order to counteract any resistance to change or even the nocebo effect
- Through education, patient confidence and treatment success with biosimilars are more likely to improve, resulting in an increased adoption of biosimilars by healthcare agencies worldwide
Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd. today launched a new whitepaper, entitled ‘Education in Biosimilars’, which has been developed following extensive research throughout 2020 to identify fundamental information gaps and unmet needs in the biosimilar space.
Samsung Bioepis commissioned an independent research to understand more than 250 key opinion leaders’ perspectives – across healthcare professionals, medical academics, journalists, plus patient groups and drug policy experts – on the use of biosimilars across the five European countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
To support the analysis, Samsung Bioepis also held three online virtual expert panel sessions throughout the summer of 2020 to gain professional insight into: experiences with biosimilars to date, perceptions of biosimilars compared to biologics and attitudes to biosimilars in Europe in general.
While the uptake of biosimilars is different between countries for many different reasons, the research reveals that the role and suitability of biosimilars is not as clearly understood by both healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients, as the general impression would suggest.
Working to improve patient education
As biosimilars become more widely adopted, patient education is more important than it has ever been. It is critical to ensure that patients receive the correct information about biosimilars, what they are and how they are used.
The report concluded that there was an immediate need for patient education about biosimilars and clinical trials to ensure educated and informed decisions are made about biosimilar use.
To address this gap, educational initiatives such as providing workshops for patients in specific disease areas, or online guidelines and animations for disease awareness and treatment information are required. As a result, patients will become more aware of symptoms to look for and what to expect before, during and after diagnosis and treatment.
Enhancing communication with patients
The consensus from the virtual panel discussions is that the understanding of biosimilars is often disregarded among HCPs. Many believe that the more you pay for a drug, the better it will perform. This lack of understanding leads to further miscommunication about biosimilars with patients.
Critically, this miscommunication needs to be addressed in order to avoid the ‘nocebo effect’. The nocebo effect is when an individual expects a specific treatment to have a negative effect, resulting in the patient experiencing negative symptoms during treatment.1
To combat this lack of understanding amongst HCPs, there is a need for education on the quality, innovation and value of biosimilars, including the reduction in batch-to-batch variation compared to older originator biologics. Educating on the robustness of the clinical trials programs and the approval system may also help to dispel many of the myths related to biosimilar quality.
Nurses are a critical part of the conversation
Nurses play integral roles in patient education. They are highly trusted in their role and often are the first point of contact for a patient. Nurses can influence the adoption of biosimilars through patient education and can impact the future of the field in their expanding roles within healthcare systems.
Furthermore, nurses have a critical role to play in supporting patients who may be transitioning to biosimilars and their support for patients is vital to the success of treatment in general.
However, according to the research and expert panel sessions, many nurses consider they are overlooked in terms of education and communications plans. Ensuring that nurses are properly trained and educated about biosimilars is vital; this information can then be relayed to alleviate patient concerns, and to maximize potential public health benefits.
Click below to download a copy of the ‘Education in Biosimilars’ whitepaper (https://www.samsungbioepis.com/upload/attach/Samsung%20Bioepsis%20whitepapter_V4.pdf).
About Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd.
Established in 2012, Samsung Bioepis is a biopharmaceutical company committed to realizing healthcare that is accessible to everyone. Through innovations in product development and a firm commitment to quality, Samsung Bioepis aims to become the world's leading biopharmaceutical company. Samsung Bioepis continues to advance a broad pipeline of biosimilar candidates that cover a spectrum of therapeutic areas, including immunology, oncology, ophthalmology and hematology. Samsung Bioepis is a joint venture between Samsung BioLogics and Biogen. Biogen is responsible for the commercialization of numerous biosimilar drug products. For more information, visit www.samsungbioepis.com.