NHS England is undertaking a programme of work to engage, inform and support commissioners, clinicians, pharmacists, patients and others in their consideration of the optimal use of biosimilar medicines. In September 2015 they published a What is a Biosimilar Medicine? guide, which provides an update for clinical and non-clinical stakeholders about the developing role of biosimilar medicines in the NHS in England and to support the safe, effective and consistent use of all biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines, to the benefit of patients. A copy is attached and is also available at:
NHS England has also convened a National Biosimilar Medicines Group, chaired by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, whose role includes improving education and understanding of both the theory and practical considerations related to biosimilar medicines.
Guidance to prescribers requires them to explain to patients the likely benefits, risks and burdens, including serious and common side effects of treatments they are proposing. The What is a Biosimilar Medicine? guide makes it clear that patients’ needs preferences and values are an essential part of evidence based medicine. Local collaborations involving both patients and clinicians have been successful in introducing biosimilars.