The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has welcomed NHS England’s new publication summarising the recent regional workshops held on biosimilar medicines.
Supported by the ABPI and in collaboration with a range of national partners; NHS England hosted two workshops on biosimilar medicines for local stakeholders with decision-making responsibility for commissioning, prescribing, dispensing and monitoring biological medicines, as well as patient representatives.
Discussions at the workshops focused on how to ensure an appropriate and patient-centred approach to the use of biosimilar medicines in order to benefit from the opportunity presented by increased competition between different biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines.
As noted by Dr Keith Ridge in the report's executive summary, "this patient-centred, outcome based and value driven approach to medicines use will ensure the safe, effective and consistent use of all biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines, across the NHS; and a sustainable market for biological medicines."
Through the workshops, local stakeholders highlighted a number of key considerations including:
NHS England is working with national partners to develop a toolkit to provide practical materials and guidance for use locally on the introduction and appropriate use of biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines. ABPI are pleased to be working with the British Biosimilar Association (BBA) to provide industry's views and support for this work.
As set out in the workshops report published today by NHS England, many of the differentiating features about biologic medicines are due to the way they are manufactured, and this was identified as an area for further exchange. To help address this need, today ABPI and BBA are also publishing a factsheet on bio-manufacturing, which sets out some of the key points simply.
Dr Virginia Acha, Executive Director, Research, Medical and Innovation at the ABPI said, "As more biosimilars come to market, this NHS England report and our factsheet are timely and welcome in ensuring NHS England and other national partners provide consistent messaging and support appropriate knowledge and implementation tools are in place to deliver patient outcomes."
Matt Regan, Chair, ABPI Biological Medicines Access Group and UK General Manager, AbbVie said, "Such workshops prove that practical partnerships between the Pharmaceutical industry, the NHS and various patient groups is an excellent way to stimulate discussion and debates that are vital to safeguard the appropriate and safe use of biological medicines. It is crucial to ensure these recommendations made by local stakeholders are considered and implemented."
About the National Biosimilars Group:
The National Biosimilars Group assisted in the coordination of the workshops. The National Biosimilars Group has recently been restructured as an NHS England Programme Board. The board will be led by NHS England in collaboration with the following organisations:
This group will oversee delivery of a programme of work intended to ensure the appropriate use of biosimilar medicines in England, in line with the principles of medicines optimisation.
About the Biosimilars Workshops
In March 2016, NHS England hosted two workshops on biosimilar medicines for local stakeholders. The workshops were held in London and Leeds on 7th March and 11th March respectively. Each workshop was attended by over 80 participants including clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, commissioners and patient representatives. The workshops featured presentations on national and international biosimilar developments, panel discussions with local healthcare professionals and 'world café' style breakout sessions, through which information was collected on local approaches to the introduction of biosimilars.
About the industry factsheet on biomanufacturing
The biomanufacturing factsheet can be found here.
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The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. We represent companies supplying around 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.