EDITORIAL

[The Polish Task Force position statement on safety of biologic treatment with monoclonal antibodies and soluble receptors]

Karina Jahnz-Rozyk, Ewa Wiesik-Szewczyk
Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski: Organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego 2014, 37 (217): 5-9
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UNLABELLED: The introduction of biologic therapies for treatment in many fields of medicine such as rheumatology oncology, dermatology, hematology and allergology, became one of the most important achievements of the modem medicine. The first biological therapeutics have already reached patent expiration date and corresponding biosimilars were approved by EMA (European Medicine Agency) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Many more biosimilar products are currently under review for marketing authorization around the world. The approval of products similar, but not identical to already known innovative biologics, due to complexity of structure and manufacturing technology, stirs a lot of discussions regarding safety concerns related to differences in posttranslational processing and in immunogenicity between reference and biosimilar products, and relevance of these differences to the clinical practice. Critical issues involve extrapolation to different clinical indication, automatic substitution and switching. Despite EMA recommendation and advocacy for biosimilars, it is beyond this regulatory authority to establish definitive regulation for each EU member, which it is expected to be country related. The aim of the study was an attempt to define the stance regarding particular aspects of biological treatment conducted in Poland is undertaken.

METHODS: The Task Force of 13 experts involved in various aspects of biologic therapies in Poland was established. A modified Delphi voting was performed to achieve consensus regarding the most important aspects of biologic treatment in Poland, with particular concern of biosimilars.

RESULTS: Ten final statements were discussed and voted upon. The statements cover general aspects of biosimilars including expected cost-benefit ratios, extrapolation of clinical indications, interchange switching, patient information and requirement of patient consent. The state of post marketing pharmacovigilance of biologics (innovative ones as well as biosimilars) was also discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: The Task Force agreed that introduction of biosimilars is an important achievement in the biological therapies, with potential for reduction of treatment cost and increased treatment availability. Experts also agree that the safety of biological treatment should be monitored more carefully in Poland. Other discussed issues sparked more questions. There is no consensus among experts as to the automatic interchangeability of biosimilar and their innovative biopharmaceuticals. However, the switching might be acceptable in clinical practice on the case by case basis. There is an unmet need in Poland to create registry collecting data sufficient for assessment of safety and efficacy of both biosimilars and reference products in accordance with the experience and principles introduced in the European countries.

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