Dr Hope Rugo: Talking With Other Prescribers About Biosimilars

Hope Rugo, MD, director of the breast oncology clinical trials program at the University of California at San Francisco, disucusses the conversations she is having and expects to have with fellow prescribers about biosimilars in oncology.


Are other breast cancer specialists looking forward to Mylan’s biosimilar trastuzumab coming to market? Are you getting questions from physicians about the biosimilar?

We haven’t really seen questions in the [United States] about biosimilars yet. I think there’s a lot of interest in understanding what a biosimilar is, [and] how the different trials have looked at biosimilars because there are many, many now out there, all looking for regulatory approval in addition to the drugs that are already approved in the [United States] and Europe.

But, I think that, because there’s a lot of experience with biosimilars in rheumatologic disease, there is a greater appreciation for the importance of biosimilars in oncology.

I think once the drugs are available, there’s going to be a big need for education and understanding of where these drugs should be and how comfortable people feel with them. But right now, I think in the United States because we can’t use them yet, that the main interest has been in supportive care and in rheumatologic disease.