Why Biosimilars Matter: An Innovative Solution to Improve Patient Access

Summary of presentations from the Sandoz-supported satellite symposium held at the 20th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA), Vienna, Austria, on 13th June 2015

Chairperson: Felix Keil1
Speakers: Mark McCamish,2 Robin Foà,3 Karen Van Rassel4

1. Hanusch Krankenhaus der Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse, Vienna, Austria
2. Sandoz, Holzkirchen, Germany
3. Hematology, ‘Sapienza’ University, Rome, Italy
4. Lymphoma Coalition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Disclosure: Mark McCamish is a full-time employee of Sandoz. Felix Keil has received honoraria from Sandoz and Roche, and was an investigator in the Sandoz-supported ASSIST-FL trial of the proposed biosimilar rituximab (GP2013). Robin Foà has served on advisory boards or on speaker’s bureaux for Roche, Genentech, Celgene, Janssen, Gilead, GSK, BMS, and Sandoz.
Acknowledgements: Writing assistance was provided by Dr Lynda McEvoy, apothecom scopemedical Ltd.
Support: The publication of this article was funded by Sandoz. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of Sandoz.
Citation: EMJ Hema. 2015;3[1]:47–53.

Meeting Summary

The meeting was introduced by Prof Robin Foà who spoke about the difficulties for patients accessing therapies in the context of rising healthcare costs and reduced budgets. Dr Mark McCamish then explained the biosimilar development process and the analytical techniques involved. Prof Felix Keil discussed the role of biosimilar medicines in haematology using the example of GP2013/rituximab (RTX), and Ms Karen Van Rassel of the Lymphoma Coalition presented the role a patient organisation can play when working with the physician to support a patient’s questions and concerns regarding lymphoma.

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