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Dr Lee Schwartzberg: There's Still an Education Gap for Biosimilars

Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, executive director, West Cancer Center, discusses the importance of working with physicians to make sure they're comfortable prescribing biosimilars.


Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, executive director, West Cancer Center, discusses the importance of working with physicians to make sure they're comfortable prescribing biosimilars.

Transcript

How important is it to collaborate with physicians to make sure they are comfortable prescribing biosimilars and alleviate some of the concerns they might have?

There’s still an educational gap, I think, about biosimilars. It’s still a very new product on the oncology market. We have to understand that biologics are inherently complicated to make, so we have to be comfortable about them being made the same way regardless of who is manufacturing them. We are comfortable with the current therapeutics that are out there.

There will be more coming. How exactly we do it operationally is a challenge, whether we’re changing patients, new starts, each of these drugs is a different drug so we have to have a care plan or a regimen plan that includes those. So, there’s some operational characteristics that have to be worked out, and we’re working through those at OneOncology practices.

For the physicians, there’s still an educational component, and for the patients. Although really, patients have been very comfortable with making a therapeutic switch when their doctor explains to them that they’re getting a drug that’s just like the other drug. It’s not a generic but it’s analogous to a generic. Generics are only for small molecules. Biosimilars are for biologics, and they’re slightly different.

 
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