(Advice to NHSE) To what extent and how should the transition to use of biosimilar medicines be prioritised to enable the provision of best value care in the NHS? Does the clinical Senate support the update of biosimilar medicines at pace and how can their best practice use be maximised?
Biological monoclonal antibodies are widely used across the NHS to treat patients with very effective results.
As originator biological medicines come off patent, biosimilars are being produced and marketed to the NHS
at significantly less cost. Whilst chemically produced medicines that come off patent can be exactly
replicated as generics by a generics manufacturer, biological molecules are ‘grown’ and therefore will be
very similar but not 100% the same as the original molecule in the patented medicine. The minor changes in
licensed biosimilars however are not regarded as having clinically meaningful differences and even originator
biologicals may vary between batches over time. NICE guidance applies to biosimilars as it does to originator