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European nurses launch biosimilar switching guide Posted 24/08/2018

The European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO) announced on 26 June 2018 the launch of a guide for switching from reference biologicals to biosimilars.

The guide is specifically directed towards specialized nurses and aims to provide information to facilitate interactions with patients switching from a reference biological to a biosimilar (or vice versa), or between biosimilars of the same originator drug.

The guide includes sections on the theory of change management and how nurses should manage the exchange between reference biologicals and biosimilars, as well as follow-up and support for patients and pharmacovigilance.

The guide aims to contribute to the safe use of and trust in biologicals and to give nurses the tools to implement switching decisions in a clinical context and deal with patient concerns, drawing on lessons learned from real-life experiences.

The guide also includes a list of biosimilars approved in Europe and a list of biosimilars in development.

The ESNO believes that the experience and communication skills of nurses mean that they are ideally placed to explain to patients about the rationale and impact of changes to their treatment. This, they add can be particularly important in the transition from the originator biological to its biosimilar (and vice versa).

The ESNO guide is intended to be both educational and practical and builds on existing European Commission guidelines for healthcare professionals.

The European Commission and European Medicines Agency (EMA) published a patient-focussed Questions and Answers (Q&A) document on biosimilars in November 2017 [1], they also launched a guideline for healthcare professionals in May 2017 [2]. In addition to their guide, the ESNO points to these two documents for further information on switching.

Related article
FDA issues another biosimilars Q&A guidance

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. EC publishes biosimilar Q&A document for patients in 23 languages [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2018 Aug 24]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/EC-publishes-biosimilar-Q-A-document-for-patients-in-23-languages
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Launch of biosimilars info for healthcare professionals [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2018 Aug 24]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Reports/Launch-of-biosimilars-info-for-healthcare-professionals

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Source: ESNO

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