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Biosimilars makers in Canada to launch patient support programme

Biosimilars Canada, an association representing Canada’s biosimilar makers, announced on 22 November 2018 that it had chosen pharmaceutical service provider Innomar Strategies to be the preferred provider for the association’s Patient Support Program (PSP) platform.

WHO should finalize its BQ guidance

According to authors from the US, the World Health Organization (WHO) should finalize its Biological Qualifier (BQ) guidance. Distinguishable naming will allow quick and accurate tracing of the manufacturer of biologicals, should adverse events occur and improve patient safety by reducing confusion and mishaps. This will ensure that developing nations, including those in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, have access to high quality, affordable medicines [1].

British diabetologists issues position statement on biosimilar insulin

The Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) has issued a position statement on the use of biosimilar insulin. The statement summarises information on the advantages and disadvantages of using biosimilar insulins and gives the association’s position on when biosimilar insulins be used [1].

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – January 2019

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is the body responsible for approval of biosimilars within the European Union (EU). A legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2003. Approval of biosimilars is based on an abbreviated registration process, which allows biosimilars manufacturers to provide a reduced package of information compared to originator drugs, provided they can prove ‘similarity’ to the originator or reference drug.

Biosimilars of adalimumab

Last update: 29 June 2018

Adalimumab is a human monoclonal antibody that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor (TNF); a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Adalimumab binds to TNF-alpha (TNF-α), preventing it from activating TNF receptors, which cause the inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. Adalimumab is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid, juvenile idiopathic and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis.

Biosimilars approved in Europe

Last update: 14 December 2018

In the European Union (EU), a legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2003. This framework means that biosimilars can only be approved centrally via the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and not nationally.

Biosimilars approved in Australia

Last update: 14 December 2018

In Australia, the legal framework for approving medicines was established via the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Biosimilars approved in Japan

Last update: 14 December 2018

In Japan, the regulatory body for the approval of medicines, including biologicals, is the Ministry for Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW).

Biosimilars approved in Canada

Last update: 14 December 2018

In Canada, the regulatory body for the approval of biologicals is the Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate (BGTD) of the Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) of Health Canada.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sandoz abandon biosimilars

Boehringer Ingelheim has decided to abandon biosimilars outside the US. While Sandoz has decided not to pursue biosimilar rituximab in the US.