Are We Ready for Biosimilars in Gastroenterology?

*Muhammad Ilham Abdul Hafidz,1 Thevaraajan Jayaraman,1 Raja Affendi Raja Ali,2 Yeong Yeh Lee3

1. Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sg Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia
2. Gastroenterology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Malaysia
*Correspondence to m.i.abdulhafidz@gmail.com

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Received: 24.03.17 Accepted: 13.11.17
Citation: EMJ Gastroenterol. 2017;6[1]:83-89.

Abstract

Biologics are large complex molecules that are produced in living systems. They have revolutionised the treatment of patients suffering from various diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease. However, in many parts of the world, patient access to biologics has been hampered, mainly because of the high costs associated with these therapies. Since the patent expiration of several of these biologics, biosimilars have emerged, promising equal effectiveness and safety for patients but at a more affordable price. Despite this, concerns remain regarding the use of biosimilars as replacements for biologics. This review discusses the issues and controversies surrounding the development and applicability of biosimilars in the field of gastroenterology.

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