Biologics and Biosimilars
AARDA Releases White Paper to Educate Patients.
Leading Autoimmune Patient Advocacy Group Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Patients Lack Understanding of Biosimilar Drugs.
“Unlike chemically based drugs, biologic medicines have the unique ability to target the underlying cause of a disease, representing a huge breakthrough for patients suffering from many serious autoimmune diseases,” said Virginia Ladd, President and Executive Director of AARDA. “The results of our member survey illuminated just how limited awareness is around these life-saving medications – especially among those who need them most.”
The white paper provides a comprehensive overview of biologic medicines, which are used to treat serious illnesses including autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies and cancer, and comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to finalize its guidelines for the approval of biosimilars – drugs that are similar but not identical to original biologic medicines.
The survey of 362 Autoimmune Association members – 96 percent of whom reported living with an autoimmune disease – found that more than 80 percent of respondents did not know what biosimilar medicines were and about 52 percent did not understand how biologics differ from chemical drugs.
In order to increase awareness among its member community, AARDA’s white paper offers insight into:
- biologic medicines, which are made from complex molecules of living material rather than chemical compounds, and the significance of these therapies for patients with
severe medical conditions,
- how biologic medicines effectively treat patients with a number of autoimmune diseases,
- why biosimilar drugs are not “generic” versions of biologics,
- what are the safety concerns for patients when switching between biologic and biosimilar
- what are the policy issues surrounding the approval of biosimilar medicines in the U.S.
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