Patient Biosimilar Knowledge is Limited, But Multiswitching Does Not Negatively Impact Care


Patients require more information on biosimilars, but the number of switches a patient experience does not negatively impact their satisfaction with care.

Multiswitching of biosimilar therapies does not decrease patient satisfaction with their treatment, according to research presented at ACR Convergence 2021, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.1

Although the market share of biosimilars is growing, not much is known about patients’ views on biosimilar therapies or experiences with multiple switching in nonmedical switch scenarios. In the current study, researchers analyzed patient satisfaction after education by rheumatologists or nurse specialists to learn more about patients’ knowledge of and view on biosimilars.

The study cohort for this randomized controlled trial included adult patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and axial spondlyoarthritis) at a tertiary hospital.

Patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups using block randomization. Patients in group 1 received education by a nurse specialist while patients in group 2 received education by a rheumatologist. Standard assessments using validated outcome parameters for disease activity and physical function were used to measure patient satisfaction with care. A structured questionnaire was used to assess patient’s knowledge of the manufacturing, effectiveness and safety, acceptance, and cost of biosimilars.

The final cohort included a total of 102 patients: 60.8% in group 1 and 39.2% in gropu 2. Forty-nine percent of patients underwent 1 nonmedical biosimilar switch and 51% underwent multiple switches.

Less than one-third of patients were able to correctly answer questions about manufacturing, safety, approval, and costs of biosimilars. However, patients were generally satisfied with their care, regardless of whether information about biosimilars and switching had been given by a nurse or rheumatologist.

Despite limited patient knowledge, “multiswitching did not lead to reduced satisfaction with care in patients on [biosimilars[, and the number of switches did not have a negative impact on patient’s satisfaction,” the researchers concluded.


  1. Gall S, Kiltz U, Kobylinski T, et al. What do patients know about biosimilars and how satisfied are they with the educational process?—A systematic comparison between rheumatologists and nurse specialists, including effects of multiswitching. Presented at: ACR Convergence 2021; Novebmer 3-9, 2021. Abstract 1154.
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