Global Biosimilars Week 2023 Adopts Oncology Focus
Annual IGBA Campaign This Year Focuses On Making Cancer Care More Accessible
The IGBA has launched its fourth annual Global Biosimilars Week campaign, this year focusing on how to make cancer care more accessible for patients and healthcare systems.
A fourth annual Global Biosimilars Week has been launched by the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, with this year’s activities focusing in particular on oncology and how biosimilars can make cancer care more accessible for patients and healthcare systems.
The campaign – which is this year running from 13 to 17 November 2023 – continues an initiative that was first launched by the IGBA in 2020 (see sidebar).
“In the week ahead, IGBA will renew its commitment to raise awareness of the powerful and life-changing impact of biosimilar medicines which contribute to delivering better health outcomes and biologics access equity for more patients,” the global off-patent industry association said.
The campaign will run on social media, “supported by a rich resource-dedicated website, globalbiosimilarsweek.org,” the IGBA outlined. It invited “patients, healthcare professionals, government organizations and other interested parties to share their resources about biosimilar medicines using the hashtag #GlobalBiosimilarsWeek.”
Day one of the campaign will offer a “biosimilars 101 for patients” focusing on “navigating biosimilars for cancer care.” The second day will focus on “empowering payers and healthcare providers.”
On the third day, the campaign will focus on “shaping biosimilar regulations for a healthier future,” while on the fourth day it will examine how to foster access through development and approvals for oncology biosimilars. Then the final day will call on all stakeholders to “join the biosimilars movement.”
A webinar being held on 15 November will be the centerpiece of the week’s activities, discussing “how all stakeholders can collaborate to expand global cancer care, with a special focus on the role of policies related to biosimilar medicines.”
“We need a well-functioning biosimilar medicines market and the engagement of all stakeholders to ensure broader, timelier, stable, affordable and sustainable patient access to biologic therapies.”
Underlining that IGBA companies were “the pioneers and global leaders in the development and marketing of biosimilar medicines,” the association noted that “to date, there have been over 800 biosimilar approvals in IGBA’s membership jurisdictions and additional ICH member countries, covering over 10 therapeutic areas.”
“We call all relevant stakeholders to join the biosimilars movement on advancing access,” said Suzette Kox, secretariat general of the IGBA. “Patients around the world are desperately waiting. With good policies, we can turn together the tide on cancer.”
Meanwhile, IGBA chair David Gaugh – who is also the current interim president and CEO of the US Association for Accessible Medicines – said that while biosimilar approvals had expanded, “we need purposeful biosimilar policies to expand access.”
In a video promoting the campaign and inviting stakeholders to “join the movement and share your perspectives and ideas,” Gaugh explained that “biologic medicines have become a powerful tool for treating some of the most serious diseases. It’s not only transforming life expectancy, but also quality of life. In many countries around the world the use of biosimilar medicines has created competition in the biologic medicines market, allowing for greater cost efficiency in the treatment areas where they are used.”
“To achieve that however, we need a well-functioning biosimilar medicines market and the engagement of all stakeholders to ensure broader, timelier, stable, affordable and sustainable patient access to biologic therapies.”
“If biosimilar stakeholders come together and speak with one voice about the benefits of biosimilar medicines,” Gaugh concluded, “we can help increase access to these important alternatives for every patient around the world. And we can strengthen our healthcare system and build a more equitable future. That’s what IGBA’s global biosimilar week is all about.”