European Commission Initiative Improves Information for Patients on Biosimilar Medicines
January 23, 2017
• The European Commission Q&A on biosimilar medicines provides a unique resource for patients to enhance understanding and trust in medicines across Europe.
• The document was written to empower patients with reliable information on the use of biosimilar medicines as an alternative therapeutic option.
• For the third year in a row, the European Commission will organise a multi-stakeholder workshop on biosimilar medicines (5 May 2017).
This consensus information on biosimilar medicinal products was drafted for patients together with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Commission and relevant stakeholders: the European Patients Forum (EPF), the European Federation of Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), the Standing Committee of European Doctors, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), European Association for Bio-industries (EuropaBio) and Medicines for Europe.
Biological medicines (including biosimilar medicines) come from living organisms (cells) that have been modified using biotechnology. A biosimilar medicine is developed to be highly similar to an existing biological medicine and has the same biological activity. Biological medicines help treat or prevent many severe diseases including cancers, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Biosimilar medicines have significant potential to create competition in the biological medicine market and provide broader affordable access to medicines for patients.
For the third year in a row, the European Commission will organise a multi-stakeholder workshop on biosimilar medicines 5 May 2017. This year, the focus will be on developing a Q&A for healthcare professionals.