Cate Lockhart, PharmD, PhD, describes how the Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) was formed.
How did the BBCIC come into being?
So the BBCIC really started based on a survey of The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy members about these emerging biosimilars that were going to be coming on to the market, and what do we want to do about them as an organization?
The resounding theme was, “Let’s not let what happened with generics happen with biosimilars.” What happened with generics was over 20 years ago when we first started to see them come on the market there were anecdotal reports of, maybe, safety issues or not scientifically rigorous information that was coming out in the press, and it really influenced people's comfort level for using generic drugs. Utilization now is very common; all of us use a generic drug at some point, even if it’s just an aspirin; but it took a long time to get to that point, largely because of those barriers in people’s comfort zone.
Even today, there was a physician survey conducted in 2011, which was not that long ago, about generic drugs. And even then, there was a substantial number of physicians who reported discomfort and concerns about safety, and 50% of them had concerns about quality of generic drugs.
So, fast forward to biosimilars there was a similar survey conducted in 2015 about biosimilars and physician’s: 78% of them were very concerned about the safety and immunogenicity of biosimilars. So, number 1, that opens up a door for education, but that was really, that whole scenario was really the impetus behind the Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium—but I’m going to call it the BBCIC from now on—to do something to create rigorous science in place of anecdotal reports for people to base their decisions on.
Whether its patients, payers, or patients, give them an evidence base that otherwise wouldn’t be there. So that was the formation of the BBCIC. That came together with a panel of very smart people [that] put together the business plan and the consortium was put together in 2015.