Patients Say Biosimilars, Biologics Should Require Same Type, Level of Testing

New report provides insight into patient awareness and attitudes towards biosimilars.

Eight-one percent of individuals think biosimilars and biologics should require the same type and level of testing, according to a report by Health Stories Project—Insights (HSPi).

The findings are based on data from a September/October 2016 survey and 2 discussion forums that examined the views of 300 patients with autoimmune conditions to assess their awareness of, and attitude toward, biosimilars.

The participants widely varied in conditions, treatment profiles, ages, genders, and geographies, according to a press release.

The topics addressed included: the impact of patient condition on the understanding of biosimilars; awareness and understanding of biologics and biosimilars; ability to differentiate between biologics and biosimilars; testing of biologics and biosimilars; factors that affect treatment choices; trusted sources of information; reactions to physician switching to a biosimilar; and reactions to a pharmacy substitution of a biosimilar product.

Overall, HSPi found that 81% of respondents believe biosimilars and biologics should require the same type and level of testing. Furthermore, the response was 83% among women and 92% among consumers 55 years and older.

More than half of patients who were not using biologics said they were interested in learning more about biosimilars.

“As biosimilars are poised for expanded adoption, we knew the time was right to ask autoimmune patients who are either already taking biologics or have conditions that could result in treatment with biologics about their understanding of, concerns about, and willingness to take biosimilars,” Jo Anne Jensen, vice president of HSPi, said in a release. “Our findings were very revealing, leading us to conduct 2 follow-up forums with both biologic-experienced and biologic-naïve patients. These additional in-depth discussions explored patient feelings and the factors that influence their treatment.”

HSPi aims to put individual patient experiences and opinions into a research context that would help support the industry’s shift towards “patient engagement and, ultimately, patient centricity,” the release stated.

“As our newest Health Perspectives Group division, Health Stories Project — Insights fills a unique need within the biopharmaceutical and health care industries,” Cheryl Lubbert, president and CEO of Health Perspectives Group, said in the release. “Using industry best practices and analysis, Health Stories Project – Insights gives patients opportunities to share their personal health stories and magnifies their voices to influence industry decision-making and support the shift toward patient-centricity.”