Dr. Lyman on Educating Physicians About Biosimilars in Oncology


Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, discusses educating physicians about biosimilars in oncology.

Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, senior lead, Health Care Quality and Policy, Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, member, Cancer Prevention Program, Public Health Services Division, and member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses educating physicians about biosimilars in oncology.

A major challenge with biosimilars, according to Lyman, is skepticism among physicians. Biosimilars are approved using a different process than original agents, which are approved using data from large phase III trials demonstrating efficacy and safety against different regimens. Additionally, many physicians are hesistant to be the first in their practice to use a new agent as they have been comfortable with the original biologic approved 20 years ago, Lyman explains.

To combat the skepticism surrounding biosimilars, Lyman believes there needs to be further education for physicians. Lyman has worked with ASCO to create educational programs at the annual meeting. The American Society of Hematology and the National Cancer Comprehensive Network have also added educational programs to their conferences. Physicians need to receive education about what a biosimilar is, the path to approval, and how they differ from original agents, Lyman concludes.

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