IVM releases toolbox on how to switch patients to insulin biosimilars

Biosimilares/General | Posted 19/03/2021 post-comment0 Post your comment

The Dutch Instituut voor Verantwoord Medicijngebruik (Institute for Responsible Medicines Use, IVM) has released a toolbox for healthcare providers on how to switch patients to insulin biosimilars.

Insulin 1 V13C03

Preference policies for the insulin glargine biosimilar Abasaglar have already been used by healthcare insurers in The Netherlands for some years. Since 1 January 2021, many of these healthcare insurers have extended their preference policies to include short-acting insulins. This means that patients on originator insulin biologicals, including insulin glargine, insulin aspart and insulin lispro will be switched to biosimilar insulins.

Advisers to the IVM identified the bottlenecks that slow or prevent the transition of patients to biosimilars [1]. One of the biggest bottlenecks identified was that of poor or bad communication, coordination and cooperation between healthcare providers, or bad communication from the healthcare provider. Coordination is needed between the doctor’s practice, pharmacies and practice nurses. In fact, it appears that practice nurses and diabetes nurses are regularly not included in the decision process, despite the fact that they are most often the ones providing the care to the patient.

Based on the problems identified by the advisers the IVM prepared a toolbox. This was then assessed by 229 healthcare providers as to whether it fulfilled their needs and was adjusted according to these findings to produce a final toolbox, which is available for use by all healthcare providers in The Netherlands.

The toolbox provides information under the headings Farmacotherapieoverleg (FTO) materials, Knowledge and schooling, Materials for (the conversation with) the patient and Want to know more?

Farmacotherapieoverleg (FTO) materials
In this section materials are provided to support an FTO meeting on effective insulin use, namely an FTO module, a checklist with tasks and responsibilities for a successful conversion from or to a biosimilar insulin and also points healthcare providers to the theme journal Biosimilars.

Knowledge and schooling
This section provides more information about where healthcare providers can gain knowledge about biosimilar insulins.

Materials for (the conversation with) the patient
This section provides materials that the healthcare provider can use for (the conversation with) the patient, such as a patient folder, an oversight card for insulins and an infographic on the preference policy for insulins.

Want to know more?
In the section about ‘Want to know more’ the IVM has collected together information sources surrounding the issue of biosimilar insulins. This includes, for example, the positions on biosimilars of various Dutch institutes, The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) brochure ‘Vragen en antwoorden over biologische medicijnen’ (Questions and answers about biological medicines) and links to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Biosimilar medicines: Overview.

Related articles
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Biosimilars of insulin glargine


To further enhance the objectives of GaBI in sharing information and knowledge that ensure policies supportive of safe biosimilars use, we are pleased to announce that we will be launching a new section on GaBI Online and GaBI Journal, the ‘Latin American Forum’ (in Spanish) featuring the latest news and updates on research and developments in generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America.

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.



Para fomentar los objetivos de GaBI sobre la difusión de información y conocimiento sobre las políticas de apoyo que garantizan el uso seguro de medicamentos biosimilares, nos complace anunciar el lanzamiento de una nueva sección en GaBI Online y GaBI Journal, el ‘Latin American Forum’ (en español), que presentará las últimas noticias y actualizaciones en investigación y desarrollo sobre medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en Latinoamérica.

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Latin American Forum. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 

1. van den Berk-Bulsink M, van Dalfsen-Slingerland M, Dankers M. Omzetten naar biosimilar insuline vraagt extra aandacht en tijd. Pharmaceutisch Weekblad. 2021;156(9):28-31.

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Source: IVM

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