Sheila Frame: Lessons Learned From Launching Zarxio

Sheila Frame, vice president and head of biopharmaceuticals, North America, at Sandoz, discusses lessons learned from the launch of the company’s biosimilar filgrastim.


Sandoz was the first to launch a biosimilar—Zarxio—in the United States. What are some of the key lessons learned from that product launch?

You know, for Sandoz it's been 35 years' worth of experience developing and selling biopharmaceuticals and biological products. With Zarxio, because it was the first to be launched through the new FDA process with a true biosimilar, we have learned so much, and we've had such incredible success.

It takes a little while, right, for the marketplace to get used to biosimilars. It was pretty new in the United States. But what we've seen in the last couple of years is just incredible excitement in the marketplace about the value that systems can benefit from and reinvest in patient care. So we've had some terrific successes. We've also had some challenges, as you can imagine, right. I mean, it's new for patients. It's new for treatment providers. So we're really excited that we were able to use Zarxio as the first example. It's something that supports patient care from a managing side effects perspective in oncology. It's relatively speaking a short term therapy.

We're really excited. It has been a tremendous opportunity for many physicians, patients, and other healthcare systems. So we've got some great examples now. We've got good publications behind it. I think people are feeling much more comfortable with the value that biosimilars can bring.