Drug Topics®: I've heard some information that [biosimilars] are considered the next generation of generics. What is your insight on that?
Monica Mallampalli, MSc, PhD: I think we can see that the considered and I guess having genetics come into the market has definitely reduced the prices and the hope is biosimilar to go to the same. So, I guess Yeah, but you can you can compare them to the genetics and that sense.
Drug Topics®: How can patient and provider education be improved in regard to biosimilars?
Monica Mallampalli, MSc, PhD: That's a very good question. So thank you for asking that. First of all, I think there is a need for patient and provider education. So on the patient, front, you know, we did that three-part roundtable series and you can find more information on our website.
It's called the value of biosimilars program itself. And, again, one of the messages that clearly came across is the need for education for patients and providers. And for patients, I think it's very important to understand that this this new generation of medicines that are available, they need to know what their options are and talk to doctors about these.
And then also, for providers, it's important to understand that these medications that are available and have the conversation with their patients and give them again, they are the choices that are available. You know, if the patients are going to go on biologics, the doctors also need to know that there are biosimilars that may be more cost effective for the patients.
Drug Topics®: What would you say are the current barriers that you've seen with getting education out there regarding this topic?
Monica Mallampalli, MSc, PhD: I think the barriers are really I think getting that information out to providers and patients. And that's what healthy women is, you know, trying to do now is get this information out. FDA has a lot of information, but unfortunately, that has not translated down also to you know, percolated down to to the public.
It is a complex topic, but I think there needs to be more people need to be talking about this and discussing with the, you know, the providers and and the patients.
Drug Topics®: How does healthy women help get this medical information out? And how is the news landscape sort of progressing just with everything going on with the pandemic and current topics that have come up?
Monica Mallampalli, MSc, PhD: Yeah, so we've already started the conversation, right? We've had two meetings. So we had one in person meeting before the pandemic in Washington, DC, but we even explored the topic of our biosimilars event, I mean just biosimilars and women's health, you know, how can what biosimilars mean, and how does that even, you know, impact women's health and the takeaway message was, yes, there's tremendous potential to improve women's health with biosimilars.
And then we had a second set of, you know, the round table series. And again, it was very clear that the education was needed to already break on that process. And I think the next step is to really try and connect some of the chronic conditions. And if they're potentially the biosimilar, seven biologics that are available for this chronic conditions and begin the education pathway, moving into some of those chronic conditions and letting women know that these medications of these options are available.
And I think that's what we can do right now, even with the current pandemic, is to talk about these, and also the pandemic. I mean, some things have become very clear, there's certain, you know, patients who are much more, you know, prone to the current chronic conditions of exasperated and chronic pain is one of those conditions that has you've seen, you know, has impacted patients quite a bit.
So, perhaps having those conversations in that context, and they've also limited the access to, you know, their treatments and medications and again, how can we overcome, you know, or educate them about some of those barriers and ways to overcome those barriers as well. So, it makes a lot of sense.
Drug Topics®: Could you tell me a key takeaway about why Biosimilars are important and what is the most important thing for providers and patients to keep in mind?
Monica Mallampalli, MSc, PhD: I think one of the key things I think that needs to come across because patients may have a lot of worry about the safety and efficacy of these medications, which they shouldn't worry about, because I think biosimilars go through a rigorous regulatory approval process.
And if you think about it, the safety and efficacy role is already been tested on the biologics. So, Biosimilars are approved, based on the knowledge that there is no clinically meaningful differences when compared to the original biologic, that means they can be assured that the safety and efficacy of these medicines are as good as their reference biologic products that you've been approved for so there should not be any concerns by about those.