Dr. Verma on Incorporating Biosimilars Into Practice

Sunil Verma, MD

Sunil Verma, MD, professor and head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary, medical director of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, discusses incorporating biosimilars in oncology practice.

While oncologists must provide effective treatment, the cost associated with cancer therapies is substantial, says Verma. In order for clinicians to incorporate innovation and new therapies into practice, transitioning old biologics to biosimilars should be an avenue to consider, he adds. European approvals have pushed biosimilars through to mainstream practice, explains Verma, and the United States and Canada are now following suit to help drive down the cost of treatments.

In breast cancer, trastuzumab (Herceptin) is one of the key costs of treatment, says Verma, which provides support for trastuzumab biosimilars. Although, Verma says that it is important to understand that biosimilars and generics are not the same thing. Healthcare regulatory bodies look at specific manufacturing criteria to evaluate if an agent is truly a biosimilar.
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