Sandoz Launches Action Plan to Increase Global Biosimilar Access

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The Act4Biosimilars Action Plan aims to highlight key challenges preventing patient access to biosimilars and outline steps to help overcome them.

Sandoz has introduced a global roadmap called the Act4Biosimilars Action Plan that aims to increase patients access to biologic medicines, the pharmaceutical company announced in a press release.1

The roadmap is part of Sandoz’s Act4Biosimlars initiative, which was created and launched by the company in 2022. The initiative hopes to increase biosimilar adoption by at least 30% in 30 countries by 2030.

“Biosimilars can be life-changing for patients and their families and can play a critical role in overcoming health inequalities seen across the world,” said Laura Wingate, executive vice president of education, support and advocacy at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, said in a statement. “As a stakeholder-driven initiative, Act4Biosimilars aims to empower local stakeholders on the ground, who are passionate about increasing patient access to advanced medicines.”

Biosimilars have been available for close to 20 years, but the worldwide adoption rate in initiative-tracked countries is only around 14%, according to Sandoz. Reference medicines continue to represent the majority of biologic treatments at 86% of market share.

The Act4Biosimilars Action Plan points out key challenges preventing patient access to biosimilars and outlines steps to help overcome them. The plan will include a series of reports featuring analysis of challenges by region, beginning with the Americas.

In the United States, patients and healthcare professionals have become confused about the interchangeability regulatory guidelines. In Colombia and Ecuador, patients can be exposed to biocopies that don’t meet international biosimilar guidelines provided by the World Health Organization due to gaps in regulatory pathways.

A lack of alignment on educational materials across stakeholder groups in Canada, Brazil, and the United States has also led to confusion among patients and healthcare professionals. And in Mexico and Brazil, supply continuity risks and potential disruptions to patient care have been caused by unsustainable procurement practices, such as single-winner tenders.

The Act4Biosimilars Action Plan features 12 initiatives to address these challenges and accelerate biosimilar adoption across 4 areas: approvability, acceptability, accessibility, and affordability.

A steering committee is working with stakeholders across the Americas to implement the plan and identify and address any other challenges. In Q4 2023, the committee will turn its focus to Europe, followed by the Middle East and Africa in Q1 2024, and Asia Pacific in Q2 2024.

“The time to globalize biosimilars is now, so that advanced biologic medicines are accessible to patients who need them most,” said Tore K. Kvien, previous head of Department of Rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Norway and a member of the Act4Biosimilars steering committee. “Their benefits are proven, and it’s time to bring them to more patients and health systems across the world.”

Reference
1. Sandoz introduces Act4Biosimilars Action Plan to accelerate patient access to biosimilar medicines. News release. Sandoz. June 15, 2023. Accessed June 22, 2023. https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/sandoz-introduces-act4biosimilars-action-plan-accelerate-patient-access-biosimilar-medicines
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