Biological drugs have been used for many years to treat disease. They are sophisticated and expensive and often, difficult to access because of cost. As their patents expire, similar drugs have come onto the market. These are called Biosimilars. The competition has lowered the cost for the healthcare system and the patient.
For bowel cancer patients, there are biosimilars that are similar to Bevacizumab (Avastin). Avastin is known as the “originator” or “reference drug”. Biosimilars and not identical to the originator. No biological drug can be identical to another batch, even from the same manufacturer, because it contains living organisms. However, Biosimilars are safe and effective and pass the same checks as the originator.
The following Bevacizumab biosimilars are registered in the EU:
- Zirabev manufactured by Pfizer, registered in the EU on 14/2/2019
- Mvasi manufactured by Amgen, registered in the EU on the 15/012018
- Equidacent manufactured by Centus Biotherapeutics, registered in the EU on 24/9/20
- Aybintio manufactured by Samsung, registered in the EU 19/8/20
- Alymsys, manufactred by Amneal Pharmaceuticals and mAbxience, received a marketing authorisation valid throughout the EU on 26 March 2021.
It is difficult to make decisions on choosing a medicine when we do not understand how it works but there is useful information that helps us.
Here is a patient information brochure.
Biosimilars in brief:
Here is a short video that explains why you might switch to a Biosimilar.
Frequently Asked Questions
A link to the meeting, “The importance of biosimilars for patients with colorectal cancer “.
This is the Call to Action: for money saved to be used to treat more patients.
Medicines for Europe; Equal access to medicine
Stella Kyriakides, European Commission
Checklist for HCPs: