Expert: We Are Now in a Time When There Is ‘Widespread Adoption of Biosimilars’ in Health Care

Shannon Hough, director of ClinReview and Clinical Content for McKesson, discusses the advantages of including pharmacy staff as part of the care team when payer or drug availability challenges arise.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Shannon Hough, director of ClinReview in Clinical Content for McKesson, on the growing shift to biosimilars in oncology, which is impacting patients and practices by reducing the financial burden of oncology treatments and increasing access to therapies resulting in greater medication adherence.

Alana Hippensteele: How does the US Oncology Network clinical team work with practices through its ClinReview or therapeutic interchange program?

Shannon Hough: Yeah, so I am the director of the ClinReview program, and within this program, we offer US Oncology Network practices and clinical pharmacists to assist in executing some of these therapeutic interchanges.

So, instead of moving forward and having providers within the practices keep up, oftentimes, on what is the biosimilar in this class and if it's available today, which one are we stocking—there's a lot of nuances, I think, to operationalizing the use of biosimilars, and the pharmacist on the team can really keep that information at their fingertips and make those implementations easy?

Alana Hippensteele:Right. How widespread is the adoption of biosimilars in the pharmacy currently, and do you project that this will change in the future?

Shannon Hough:Yeah, I think that's a great question about the use of biosimilars. I think, like most new agents when they come to market, there's a time in which there are early adopters, and there are those who adopt changes a little bit later, and I think that's the case for any organization and what we saw across the board in practice in oncology.

But I think we are now at the time where there is widespread adoption of biosimilars in general, and I think the science behind the use of biosimilars has been generally supported. I think that'll continue to trend and I think organizations will continue to make those decisions based on several data points.

Alana Hippensteele:How do you see the biosimilar market changing in the coming years?

I see when we look at the pipeline for what we see potentially coming to market in the space for potential biosimilars—I see that just continuing to grow. I think there are potential new targets which will have available biosimilars, I think in in spaces where we currently have a biosimilar, additional agents will be available, and I think that that trend will likely continue.

Alana Hippensteele: Right. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today, Shannon.

Shannon Hough: Yeah, thanks a lot for having me.