Considering the current low levels of biosimilars knowledge among many pharmacists, a group of researchers has developed a framework for integrating education about biosimilars into the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
The guide, published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, suggests that future pharmacists will need to be knowledgeable about all facets of biosimilars, from development to regulation to pharmacy practice laws, especially as more and more biosimilars are approved and enter the market.
Biosimilars teachings, the authors write, could be integrated into the 4 main domains of pharmacy education: biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, clinical sciences, and social/administrative/behavioral sciences. They proposed 4 “key educational parameters” for biosimilars that could be taught throughout the PharmD program, along with suggestions on how students’ understanding could be evaluated.
By incorporating these concepts into the pharmacy curriculum, students will graduate with an understanding of the role of biosimilars in pharmacy practice and the ability to weigh their advantages and risks.
“With this education, pharmacists will be able to provide leadership in balancing financial considerations with clinical safety and efficacy considerations in both the pharmacy and therapeutics formulary decision process as well as in the community setting,” the authors concluded. “Ensuring that graduating pharmacists are equipped with the necessary knowledge to manage daily responsibilities with regard to biologics and biosimilars will contribute toward ensuring the appropriate use of these new agents.”
Study coauthor, Edward Li, PharmD, MPH, BCOP, associate professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of New England College of Pharmacy, is also an editorial board member of The Center for Biosimilars.