PR Newswire (10/13/15)

A recent survey of 401 pharmacists found strong support for distinguishable names for biologics and biosimilars and the need for more transparency in labeling, according to the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines. The survey revealed that 68 percent of the pharmacists think the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should require distinct nonproprietary names for all biologics, including biosimilars. Ronald P. Jordan, Dean at Chapman University School of Pharmacy and former president of the American Pharmacists Association, said: "Pharmacists know that their ability to improve patient outcomes and safety is hampered, unless they can clearly distinguish similar biologic medicines from one another." Labeling in particular was a sore point for respondents: 81 percent called for better biosimilar identification; 88 percent wanted a label noting whether or not the biosimilar is interchangeable with its reference product; 76 percent mentioned approved indications the biosimilar was studied; and 69 percent wanted a label distinguishing the source of the data provided. "Pharmacists depend on the product label to advise patients and others on safe use," said Jordan. "We hope these survey results positively inform the FDA as it drafts its upcoming labeling guidance."

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