A paper presented at EULAR says patients don’t yet trust – or fully understand – biosimilars, and want access to clinical data.
A position paper published by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) reveals that patients don’t understand the science behind biosimilars and are nervous about being treated with them. In fact, “the implications of treatment by biosimilars have attracted a certain amount of anxiety and scepticism among the patient community,” the document says.
EU law requires every medicine to have either the trade name, or name of the active substance along with the company name/trademark. For biosimilars, the brand name should be used and not the international non-proprietary name. This will allow clear identification and traceability for adverse drug reaction reporting and monitoring safe use. In addition, “some patients have pointed out that to be able to identify correctly the biologic being prescribed for them, physicians must ensure that the brand name always appears explicitly on the prescription,” the EULAR paper adds.
The paper says that people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases “must at all times be fully aware of the medications that they are taking” and calls for clear codes of practice written in lay language, and developed with patient involvement.