Dr. Abraham on Improving Access to Therapy With Biosimilars

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Jame Abraham, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, and professor of medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, discusses improving access to cancer therapy with biosimilars.

Jame Abraham, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, and professor of medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, discusses improving access to cancer therapy with biosimilars.

Access to cancer treatment is critical; however, the cost of cancer therapy stands as a significant barrier to many patients, says Abraham. Any means that could potentially lower these costs should be explored. Biosimilars have the potential to lower the cost of biologic agents which are largely unavailable to patients in developing countries.

A majority of cancer diagnoses are made in low- and middle-income countries, adds Abraham. Yet, these are the areas in which access to medication is the most difficult. Biosimilars are equally effective and potentially less expensive alternatives to biologic products. Current examples for biosimilars include those for granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and trastuzumab (Herceptin). These agents have the potential to impact the health system on a global scale, especially as provider confidence grows. However, their impact would be most evident in developing countries.

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