EFCCA at European Commission workshop on Biosimilars

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On 6 October 2015 the European Commission´s  Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), organized a workshop on Access to and Uptake of Biosimilar Medicinal Products.

The objective of the workshop were to gather all relevant interested parties in order to facilitate a multi-stakeholder exchange of information, experiences and reflection on the state of play and explanations for differences in market uptake amongst the EU Member. In particular, to give a floor for patients, doctors and payers to express their views on biosimilar related developments at European but also at national level and to stimulate an open discussion and explore needs for action and in particular with regard to further political activities and initiatives at European level.

EFCCA together with the European Patient Forum (EPF) was invited to represent the patients´ view and to ensure that patients´ voices were heard during the stakeholder discussions.

A panel discussion was dedicated to the patients´ perception and perspective on the issue of biosimilars.

EFCCA chairman, Marco Greco, opened the panel session with a presentation stressing the importance of good-quality information that meets patients’ needs. He also called for shared decision-making and patient-professional communication to increase trust and enable patients to make informed decisions. Several of the interventions from the floor highlighted the worries and concerns from patient in particular on the issue of switching from biological medicines to biosimilars especially when treatment had been successful with the initial treatment option. Representatives from the industries stressed the safety of the biosimilar products and argued that the competitive prices allowed for more access to the latest treatment options.

A full report of the meeting will be prepared in the coming weeks. For more information please contact bella.haaf@efcca.org

Date of issue: 2015-10-06