Survey shows pharmacists are confident substituting interchangeable biosimilars for brand biologics

A survey by Xcenda, published in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s (AMCP) March edition of the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, showed that 75 percent of pharmacists are most confident substituting interchangeable biosimilars for brand biologics when products share a non-property name.

In 2015, at least one biosimiliar agent is expected to the launch in the United States. However, the naming convention has yet to be determined and there is a continuing debate over whether biosimilars should have the same name as their reference products.

According to the survey, around 25 percent of pharmacists would feel as confident of the products that have different non-property names. The findings also showed that pharmacists would need significant education on biosimilars before the launch of the first product in the United States.

"The Food and Drug Administration should heed these survey results of frontline practitioners — that the naming convention will play a pivotal role in substitution practices for interchangeable biosimilars," AMCP CEO Edith Rosato said. "Public health and the public interest will be best-served if biosimilars and their branded biologic counterparts share the same nonproprietary name."