Guest Blog: The Biosimilars Council Launches a New Educational Resource for Patients
By: Erica Klinger, Senior Director, Marketing, Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM)
Today, many patients are confronted with high costs to access their medicines, which sometimes forces them to choose between their physical and financial health. Thankfully, biosimilar medicines may help patients avoid these tough decisions. The Biosimilars Council launched the Biosimilars Patient Resource Center to answer patient questions about these important, lower-cost treatment options. Of course, patients should always consult with their doctor about their medications.
Biosimilars are a revolutionary class of medicines that help patients with a variety of illnesses, like cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and rheumatoid arthritis and are available at more affordable prices. Biosimilars have the power to give patients their lives back. Unfortunately, many patients are not yet using these lower-cost options. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which is a lack of patient awareness.
The Patient Resource Center exists to fill this gap – to make information available about biosimilars, the conditions that they treat, and the fact that they are safe and effective. Visitors will find infographics, fact sheets, and helpful links from the Biosimilars Council, the US Food and Drug Administration, and other stakeholder groups, in addition to answers to frequently asked questions. Also, visitors can register for an “Introduction to Biosimilars” email series, which provides an overview of key facts about biosimilars that patients need to know.
For example, patients have used biosimilars in more than 120 million days of patient therapy since their introduction in the United States. This includes more than 10 million days of therapy that would likely not have occurred without this lower cost option.
Additionally, according to the Association for Accessible Medicines’ annual savings report, biosimilars have generated over $12 billion in savings since 2015 and are projected to save more than $130 billion by 2025. The use of biosimilars has also helped cut the growth rate of oncology spending nearly in half from 2019 to 2020.
However, data tell only a small part of the story about biosimilars’ benefits. Ultimately, the value of biosimilars is to the patients whose lives are improved by their use. That’s why the Patient Resource Center gives patients a platform to share their personal stories of how greater access to affordable biosimilars changed their lives. By telling your story, even with a simple message, you can make a big difference for countless patients who are struggling to afford to treat their illness.
Like Eileen, a New York City-based musical theatre enthusiast who worked with her doctor to transition to a biosimilar treatment to manage her Crohn’s Disease after switching health plans. After switching to a more affordable biosimilar, Eileen was able to get back pursuing her Broadway dreams and doing what she loves.
Thankfully, Eileen’s story isn’t unique. Jeni, in California, loves to spend time hiking, biking, and being outdoors. After earlier treatment options for her pancolitis did not work, Jeni was prescribed a biosimilar that effectively treated her symptoms. According to Jeni, “biosimilars gave me my life back!”
The Biosimilars Council is proud to launch the Biosimilars Patient Resource Center to expand awareness about biosimilars and their safety and benefits and to encourage patients talk to their doctors about biosimilars. But it will take support from the broader health care community for biosimilars to reach their full potential. Patient and other advocacy groups can contribute to the biosimilars movement by spreading the word on social media and other channels. Our digital toolkit includes helpful assets for sharing the Patient Resource Center with your networks.
If you have suggestions for improvements to this new and unique resource, or information of your own to share, let us know using this form, and for regular updates and new resources, follow the Biosimilars Council on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Biosimilars have the power to treat patients with serious illnesses at lower costs. Now is the time to work together to increase biosimilar adoption and patient access to care.
Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) is a member of the National Health Council (NHC). For more information on NHC membership, contact [email protected].
AAM compiled the provided information from external resources and AAM does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the provided information.