WASHINGTON, DC (September 12, 2017) — Today, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and its Biosimilars Council announced the results of a new patient access study, “Biosimilars in the United States: Providing More Patients Greater Access to Lifesaving Medicines.” The Biosimilars Council has also issued an update to its handbook, The New Frontier for Improved Access to Medicines: Biosimilars & Interchangeable Biologic Products, an educational resource for patients, policymakers, health professionals and other biosimilar stakeholders.
1.2 million U.S. patients could gain access to biologics by 2025 as the result of biosimilar availability,[i] according to the new analysis published by Avalere Health for the Biosimilars Council. These data also suggests that women, lower income, and elderly patients would particularly benefit from access to biosimilar medicines.
“This patient access study shows that as biosimilars become more widely available in the United States, they expand therapeutic options, enhancing the likelihood that patients will be able to begin treatment with biologic medicines” said Bruce A. Leicher, Chair of the Biosimilars Council and General Counsel, Senior Vice President and Secretary of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “The Biosimilars Council and its members will continue to provide leadership to ensure everyone has access to these lifesaving treatments.”
“One of the key challenges our healthcare system must overcome,” said Leicher, “is the lack of understanding by stakeholders—including those who stand to benefit from increased access to biosimilars–of the role biosimilars can have in treatment.”
To help address this, the updated handbook is designed to be a reference tool for all stakeholders, and in particular patients and healthcare professionals, interested in learning more about biosimilars and interchangeable biologics. The publication explains the benefits and science behind biosimilar medicines — safe, effective alternatives to costly biologic therapies. It also explains who will benefit from access to these medicines, outlines the legal and regulatory framework, and illuminates the quality manufacturing and development process in approachable language.
“We must never take healthcare access and savings for granted,” said Christine Simmon, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Council and Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Alliances at AAM. “The Biosimilars Council looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure and expand access to biosimilars – a proven, reliable way to drive down the cost of medicine, which helps patients and benefits our economy and society.”
These new resources were released at the 2017 AAM Biosimilars Council Conference – Leading on Biosimilars. The Conference featured presentations from key industry leaders, including Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and Adrian van den Hoven, the Director General of Medicines for Europe. A focus of the conference was biosimilar education, and sessions dedicated to educating the public, patients and healthcare professionals about the safety and effectiveness of biosimilars.