Biological medicines are made up of proteins that are naturally produced in the human body.
Since their development in the 1980s, biosimilar medicines have helped treat diseases such as cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks and strokes. Many of these original biological medicines have reached the end of their patents, providing the opportunity for medicines which are similar to the original medicine (in terms of quality, safety and efficacy), to be produced and made available to patients.
Patients must be informed
Since our first briefing paper in 2006, there have been changes to the regulation of biosimilar medicines and how they are used in different countries. Patients' organizations and patients need to be informed as to the situation and what it means for them. As more and more biosimilar medicines become available, patients and patients' organizations need to consider issues such as the importance of regulatory transparency, the clarity and content of patient information, and shared decision-making by patients and healthcare professionals in assessing treatment options.
We have developed a toolkit for patients’ organizations across the world, providing evidence-based information on the science, technology and regulatory information on biological and biosimilar medicines. It also offers tips on advocacy and signposts further resources. The toolkit and report on biosimilar medicines help patient advocates to make informed judgements on the value of biological and biosimilar medicines, and to actively engage in debate and discussion with healthcare stakeholders.
Access the Biosimilars Toolkit now.
A free online resource on biological and biosimilar medicines created for patients, the organizations who represent them and those who want to understand more about how these issues affect patients in Latin America.
Access IAPO Americas now.
Generics and Biosimilars Initiative (GaBi) Journal
IAPO's work on biosimilar medicines was featured in the GaBi journal.