RMD Open (09/16/2015) Skingle, Diana

The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Standing Committee of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (SCPARE) has issued a report on concerns that patients and their rheumatologists may have about biosimilars. The report notes that more than 120 million people in the European Union have rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), and biologics have improved treatment for many RMDs. As original biologics near the end of their exclusive patent period, manufacturers are working to develop biosimilar versions of these drugs. While the active substance of a biosimilar must be similar to the active substance of the reference biological, there may be variations in biosimilarity due to their inherent complexity. This may cause patients to ask whether this variability might create additional risk, increase immunogenicity, or alter any side effects. SCPARE has asked the scientific community of EULAR to issue lay summaries for patients that include all results of relevant studies and reviews involving biosimilars. As the amount of evidence-based data on biosimilars increases, EULAR also should develop recommendations and reliable codes of practice regarding RMDs.

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