AfPA Video Explains “How to Safely, Effectively Substitute Biological Medicines”

by Amanda Conschafter, blog editor

When it comes to sophisticated and powerful medications like biologics, the details matter. So in the Alliance for Patient Access’ new video “How to Safely, Effectively Substitute Biological Medicines,” narrator David Charles, MD, explains that physicians need to know when a patient receives a biosimilar instead of the prescribed biologic.

As the video explains, biologics have provided powerful results for patients who previously had few good treatment options. Now, new imitations, dubbed “biosimilars,” may offer similar results at a lower price.

But physicians and regulators cannot approach biosimilars in the same way they do generic versions of traditional drugs, the video explains. These medications have slight variations that could impact patients’ responses, so pharmacists should communicate with physicians when they substitute one drug for another.

Communication offers several benefits, among them:

  • It doesn’t limit physicians to using “Dispense as Written.” Without communication between physicians and pharmacists, physicians may write “dispense as written” on prescriptions just so they can be certain of which drug their patients receive. This tactic could impede the adoption of biosimilars.
  • It allows physicians to monitor patients for adverse reactions to the medication and to make changes when necessary.
  • It protects the physician-patient relationship by providing physicians with information they need to make informed decisions about the best course of care.

Watch AfPA’s “How to Safely, Effectively Substitute Biological Medicines” to learn more.


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