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Sheila Frame: Adoption of Biosimilars


Sheila Frame, vice president and head of biopharmaceuticals, North America, at Sandoz, discusses how physicians' attitudes toward biosimilars have changed.


I think physicians have transformed their thinking over the course of even the last 2 years. I've had the benefit of working in immunology for years, and, even if I think about what rheumatologists, for example, said 2 years ago versus what they're saying today, I think physicians are definitely ready to take a look at what the promise of biosimilars are, as long as their patients benefit from it.

And I think that comes back to the whole challenge of transparency in the system. How does an individual patient or an individual infuser, physician infuser, benefit from the value that biosimilars bring into this marketplace? And, you know, I think that's such a great opportunity for the United States to benefit from 15% or 20%, whatever that discount's going to be. The more competition we have then the more patients are going to benefit from not only the care that they're going to get from the biosimilar product, but also from the opportunity to enjoy access to other products as it comes in.

Physicians specifically, I think, are almost getting to the point where they're kind of, hey, this is going to happen. It's happened everywhere else in the world. It's important to the system overall. I get it. I'm going to try it. And I think that's what we're starting to see now more and more, and certainly for Sandoz with Zarxio and our experience there, we've seen increasing excitement in the marketplace as each of these institutions have switched to Zarxio as a preferred product and continue to. We're now seeing some payers starting to take that into consideration.

And so, once that starts to happen, then you generate US evidence to say US patients are certainly benefiting from it. The system's benefiting from it. And, from a physician perspective, as long as I can count on the safety and efficacy in my patient once I've made the choice of what the right treatment is, as long as I can count on the safety and efficacy, then I’m okay. Let's make it happen. So I think physicians are moving along that adoption curve and certainly are definitely I'm going to say inspired by the European experience and examples that we've had over time.

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