After a switch to a biosimilar, patients and their oncologists may not always agree on how well the switch was described or whether the patient felt involved.
Researchers who surveyed patients and oncologists about biosimilars and switches to biosimilars from reference products said they found discrepancies between patients’ perceptions and physician perceptions of whether the information provided was adequate.
The study was presented at the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Oncologists and patients were asked the same questions following a switch to a trastuzumab biosimilar.
The widest discrepancies in perceptions were the following:
Investigators in this study noted that 5 trastuzumab biosimilars have been approved in the United States and with two 60-item questionnaires, they sought to elucidate patient and oncologist perspectives on switching to biosimilars and the relative levels of understanding between patients and their providers.
“Ours is the first survey comparing the experiences and perspectives of oncologists and patients,” they wrote.
In other findings, 55% of patients reported being given an option to switch from the reference drug, Herceptin, to a biosimilar. Investigators said 41% of patients surveyed said they received no prior notification of a switch. In addition, 44% of patients said they learned more about biosimilars through self-directed study than from their providers, and 41% said they had wanted more time to discuss switching to a biosimilar with their oncologist.
Areas where patients and their oncologists were in close agreement were as follows:
The surveys included 33 oncologists and 143 patients. The median patient age was 50 years and for oncologists, 46 years. Patients were predominantly White (91%), but oncologists were not (39%). Investigators said 56% of patients had a bachelor’s degree and 56% had metastatic breast cancer.
Papautsky EL, Carlson M, Lustberg M. The patient-centered paradox: A US-based survey of oncologist- and patient-reported experiences with trastuzumab biosimilars. Presented at: SABCS 2021; December 7-10, 2021. Poster P2-13-13.