Stephen Marmaras, director of policy and advocacy for the Global Healthy Living Foundation, discusses credible, patient-friendly resources that people with rheumatic diseases can access when they or their providers are considering a switch to a biosimilar.
What are some credible, patient-friendly resources that people with rheumatic diseases should access when they or their providers are considering a switch to a biosimilar?
I think the good news is that there’s a lot of resources out there right now. I would start with the FDA, they recently put out some new resources—some new educational content with everything right down to some sample social media content which is I think a great step for FDA to be moving into social media. That was encouraging to see.
I would also encourage some of our resources at a site we have, called 50statenetwork.org, where we have some kind of bullet-point-level information about biosimilars. We try and keep it very concise and approachable for advocates in our community.
But we do not have a monopoly on this information at all. [We] absolutely encourage folks to look up other arthritis organizations that they trust and know out there. [We] would also encourage checking out some major medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic.
And then also looking at the biosimilar manufacturers themselves. There’s [merckclarifiesbiosimilars.com], there’s pfizerbiosimilars.com as well. I think, like anything else out there, it’s important to look at really a diverse range of resources and use that to kind of bring your understanding of the content to another level.
I think what is encouraging is that there are coalitions out there that have begun to form that are kind of collections of a lot of these stakeholders and taking on education as a number one priority. So that’s something that has missed is educational content from 1 source that is a collection of stakeholders. I would recommend the Biosimilars Forum; [it] will hopefully be producing some content soon. That could be a source for some very diverse range of opinion in 1 spot.