Elaine Husni, MD, MPH: Rheumatologists' Comfort With Biosimilars

Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, vice chair and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center in the Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses how comfortable rheumatologists are with using biosimilars.


So regarding biosimilars, I think anything new is always difficult, any change, so I'm not sure that I may have any problems with biosimilars. You know, as a whole, I think the problem more is just having less familiarity and then having to explain to a patient that “I'm going to put you on something that I don't have any experience with.”

I think that's where the perhaps uncomfortable part lies. It's not so much in, you know, maybe what a particular biosimilar is, it’s that we are asked to use these drugs without any prior experience, we're asked to use them just because they are biosimilar.

I think we have to take a step back and think about what we're being asked to do. So many times when I'm asked to do a treatment that's not a biosimilar, I gain experience from it, and I start the medication. This is mandated, in a way, a switch. So meaning, I don't have prior experience with a biosimilar but yet I have to convince the patient that this is their first-line treatment.

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