EU can do more for patients with smart use of biosimilar medicines

Pressure has long been mounting on EU health systems. More and more patients are affected by major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung illnesses while the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the sustainability of our healthcare model. Europe needs impactful solutions that think long term and biosimilar medicines are part of it.

Biosimilar medicines have had a tremendous impact, yet their potential is not fully realised for the benefits of patient access, and healthcare systems sustainability.

With over 15 years of experience with biosimilar medicines in major disease areas, and over 2 billion patient treatment days accumulated, we can be confident that biosimilar medicines can offer much needed solutions and opportunities to patients and health systems. The immediate benefit of using biosimilar medicines is obvious: treat more patients without impacting overall treatment costs. Experience has shown that there are additional benefits from biosimilar medicines use, like re-investment in patient care to improve treatment pathways which leads to better health outcomes. This is a clear win-win for patients and health systems.

Yet, biosimilar medicines need targeted policies to deliver their full potential. The upcoming review of the EU pharmaceutical legislation will be a key opportunity to deliver for patients. Our call to EU policy makers is to design targeted policies that embrace the affordable, accessible, and readily available biosimilar medicines in all health policies. This should also be reflected in the EU Healthier Together NCD initiative.

Commenting ahead of a dedicated webinar on biosimilar medicines and NCD patient care, Chair of the Biosimilar medicines sector group of Medicines for Europe, Isabell Remus (Sandoz) said “Well before the emergence of COVID-19, NCDs were on track to put unprecedented pressure on health systems. Now the situation is even more urgent. If we want more people to live a longer and healthier life, we need to make smarter use of biosimilar medicines today and prepare for the future. My call to the European Commission is to provide the right framework for biosimilars by adapting the EU pharmaceutical legislation. This will ensure that access to biosimilar medicines remains sustainable in the long run. We need to prepare so that new biosimilars will be developed and available for all patients in the future. Because biosimilar medicines are part of the solution!”

Resource hub

Policy experts will discuss the role of biosimilar medicines in the management of non-communicable diseases at a dedicated (online) live session on 28 April, 11.00 to 12.30 CET. More information can be found at https://www.medicinesforeurope...

The Biosimilar Medicines Group

The Biosimilar Medicines Group is a sector group of Medicines for Europe representing the leading companies developing, manufacturing and/or marketing biosimilar medicines across Europe. With more than 10 years of positive patient treatment experience and 20 products successfully launched, biosimilar medicines provide today a huge opportunity to deliver significantly improved access to modern therapies for millions of European patients in both chronic and acute care. Our members bring competition to the biological medicines market, thereby increasing access to highly innovative treatments to patients, in Europe and around the world, and supporting the sustainability of the European healthcare systems.

About Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe, and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at www.medicinesforeurope.com and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.

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