German Federal Minister of Health calls for faster deployment of biosomilars

21 November 2018

GMP News

Jens Spahn, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health of Germany, has stated in his recent interview that there should be faster uptake of biosimilars in Germany for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Biosimilars are medicines that contain active substances from a biological source, which are very similar in structure, biological efficacy, safety and immunogenicity profile to another biological medicine which has already been approved.

In Germany physicians make the decisions regarding which brand to prescribe to the patient, but must consider the cost-effectiveness when making their decision. A German support group for biosimilars, Pro Biosimilars, aim to bring about fair and sustainable competitive conditions for biosimilars. The group has highlighted the difference in uptake of biosimilars varies from 10 percent to over 70 percent for different treatments.

Jens Spahn claimed that biosimilars could have saved the German healthcare system €279 million last year. He said:

“Biopharmaceuticals are essential for the medical care of our patients… If there are cheaper alternatives with the same high quality of care, we have to use them. Otherwise we would not be able to maintain the high level of drug supply in Germany.”

It is expected that use of biosimilars in Europe will become more widespread, for example biosimilars have just been introduced in Europe for autoimmune disease treatment Humira by AbbVie.

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