The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy unveiled its new Biosimilar Resource Center (www.biosimilarsresourcecenter.org), “an unbiased, policy-neutral repository of educational resources and information on biosimilars for pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other health care providers,” according to the Academy’s press release.
Partners in the site with AMCP include America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association, the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and the National Community Pharmacists Association.
To main neutrality, the Biosimilar Resource Center will not accept sponsorships or advertising. Susan Cantrell, President of AMCP, noted, “Our initiative to educate U.S. health care providers about the benefits of biosimilars will be critical in ensuring that the therapies become widely adopted and utilized in a safe and effective manner.”
Ms. Cantrell is right; education, and lots of it, will be needed to optimize the use of biosimilar agents. A study conducted in 2015 (http://managedhealthcareexecutive.modernmedicine.com/managed-healthcare-executive/news/survey-finds-stakeholders-lack-understanding-biosimilars) and released on Monday, June 27th, revealed “a general lack of understanding of biosimilars among key opinion leaders.” This survey found that only one-third of health care providers understood the key tenet of biosimilars—that the molecules are very close structurally and that they should yield equivalent outcomes to the innovator products.
However, the amount of publicity and attention given to biosimilars in the first 6 months of 2016 alone may have moved the needle significantly on stakeholders’ knowledge of these agents. At least we hope so.
In Other News, Pfizer committed $350 Million to building a new biosimilar production facility in China. Hoping to prepare to meet the global need for biosimilars, Pfizer today announced the ground breaking for a “Global Biotechnology Center” in Hangzhou, China http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160627006468/en/Pfizer-Advances-Biosimilars-Leadership-Investment-World-Class-Global. It will be largely fulfilling demand for biosimilars in Southeast Asia. The new facility will be the third such biotech centers built by Pfizer worldwide.