Switching Patients from Reference Product to Biosimilar

Opinion
Video

Insight surrounding the switch from reference drugs to biosimilars is provided by Bincy Abraham, MD, MS.

This is a video synopsis/summary of a panel discussion involving distinguished experts Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA; Alice B. Gottlieb, MD, PhD; Bincy Abraham, MD, MS; and Vibeke Strand, MD. The focus of this segment is on the crucial topic of transitioning patients from a reference biologic to a biosimilar

Abraham shares insights into her experiences with patients in gastroenterology who are being switched from a reference biologic, specifically adalimumab, to a biosimilar. The conversation highlights the importance of this transition, especially for stable patients who want to avoid flares. She discusses her limited experience with such switches, emphasizing that many patients starting on biosimilars are new to the therapy, having not previously used a reference product.

Abraham also shares a specific case of a patient who faced a loss of insurance, resulting in a treatment gap and subsequent flare when she went off the originator biologic, adalimumab. Because of cost considerations, Abraham restarted the patient on a biosimilar with a different concentration. She emphasizes the need to carefully assess concentration variations when making these transitions, particularly considering patient preferences.

The panelists acknowledge the impact of insurance decisions on switching decisions and stress the importance of effective communication to guide patients through the process. Abraham underscores the need for personalized approaches, considering factors such as age, needle aversion, and patient willingness to navigate the transition.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by editorial staff.

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