Andrea De Censi, MD, director of the medical oncology unit at the National Hospital E.O. Ospedali Galliera–SC Oncologia Medica in Genoa, Italy, discusses the hope for biosimilars in the United States.
Andrea De Censi, MD, director of the medical oncology unit at the National Hospital E.O. Ospedali Galliera—SC Oncologia Medica in Genoa, Italy, discusses the hope for biosimilars in the United States.
De Censi hopes that the United States adopts a similar stance on biosimilars as Europe. In Europe, biosimilars are used on a daily basis in clinical practice. These products work very well, says De Censi, and they have helped put constraints on the rising cost of healthcare. The development of these agents helps to ensure that healthcare is sustainable.
Notably, Europe is approximately 10 years ahead of the United States when it comes to the development and introduction of biosimilars into routine clinical practice. As such, it may take some time before the true impact of biosimilars is felt in the marketplace. Although biosimilars for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor were approved in 2015, it was not until 2017 that the FDA approved bevacizumab-awwb (Mvasi), a biosimilar to bevacizumab (Avastin). This was the first biosimilar to receive regulatory approval for cancer treatment in the United States. Several biosimilars have followed suit, including those for rituximab (Rituxan) and trastuzumab (Herceptin).