Review Article

Integrating Biosimilars Into Oncology Practice: Implications for the Advanced Practitioner

Christopher J. Campen, PharmD, BCOP

Greenville Health System Cancer Institute—Pharmacy, Greenville, South Carolina

Author’s disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.


J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:688–699 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2017.8.7.3 | © 2017 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Biosimilar agents are biologic products that have been shown to be “highly similar” to an already approved reference biologic product. Their integration into clinical practice has the potential to significantly decrease costs for patients, health-care systems, and insurance companies. Through legislation, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation (BCPI) Act in 2009. In 2010, it was signed into law, allowing for an abbreviated pathway for biosimilar approval. This law implemented a framework for development and regulation of biosimilars for manufacturers and provided guidance for the key submission components necessary to achieve final FDA approval. Many factors will influence how biosimilars are integrated into health-care systems and oncology clinics. As biosimilar utilization in the United States expands beyond supportive care, unique challenges will emerge. Patient and staff education will be at the forefront of the successful application of biosimilar agents in oncology, and advanced practitioners will be in a unique position to lead change. The goal of this article is to describe the chemical and clinical nature of biosimilars, review focus areas of interest for biosimilar development in oncology, discuss implementation strategies for biosimilars, and provide techniques for patient education on biosimilars. 




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