Arthritis ACT is concerned that patient safety may be compromised by current moves in Australia to allow biosimilars to be substituted for biologic medications at the pharmacy level.
Biosimilars are not generics. Switching between a biologic and its biosimilar may increase the risk of adverse events and may impede safety monitoring. Clinical evidence on the safety and effectiveness of patients switching between a biologic and a biosimilar is currently limited.
Our position is that, until more clinical evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of switching is available, people who are already receiving a biologic medication should not be switched to the biosimilar version without the informed mutual decision of the prescriber and the consumer. New patients or patients moving to a new biologic therapy, however, could be started on a biosimilar.
What you can do
- Read the Arthritis Australia position on biosimilars and letter to the Federal Minister for Health for further information.
- Contact your local Federal MP and the office of the Federal Minister for Health to let them know about your arthritis story and how this change will affect you.
You can search for your local member by name, postcode or electorate at http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members. Click on your MP’s name to find their Parliament House and electorate office contact details.
The Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP can be contacted on 02 6277 7220 or at firstname.lastname@example.org