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Explaining Biosimilar Medications

Until recently there was only one supplier of a number of biologic medications in Australia, but following several years of development, a number of other companies have now been licensed to produce copies of the originator reference brand.  These copies are called biosimilars. Whilst biosimilar medications are relatively new to Australia, they have been used for over 10 years and are now available in over 60 countries. The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA) is satisfied that studies have shown the biosimilar meets the criteria to confirm that it has the same efficacy and safety profile as the originator reference brand.

Because of a number of commercial decisions, including the withdrawal of some originator reference brands from the Australian market, you are changing over to the biosimilar medication. This decision has been made in consultation with your specialist. Please be assured that we would not be offering this alternative unless we were completely confident that it is just as effective and safe as your current treatment. There will be no change to your appointments or time needed at your appointments.

 

Below is a patient information leaflet giving further information on biosimilars.

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/Biosimilar-medicines-the-basics-for-consumers-and-carers-Bochure.pdf

 

Below are patient information leaflets giving further information on specific biosimilar medications.

Bevacizumab (originator reference brand Avastin®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/0CE13CDB4B59ACB0CA2580810077E68F/$File/Factsheet-biosimilar-bevacizumab-on-the-PBS.pdf

Filgrastim (originator reference brand Neupogen®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/Factsheet-for-consumers-and-carers-biosimilar-filgrastim-on-the-PBS.pdf

Infliximab (originator reference brand Remicade®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/v1-Factsheet-for-consumers-and-carers-biosimilar-Infliximab-PBS-listing-changes.pdf

Pegfilgrastim (originator reference brand Neulasta®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/0CE13CDB4B59ACB0CA2580810077E68F/$File/Factsheet-for-consumers-and-carers-biosimilar-pegfilgrastim-on-the-PBS-09-2020.pdf

Rituximab (originator reference brand Mabthera®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/Factsheet-for-consumers-and-carers-Biosimilar-rituximab-on-the-PBS.pdf

Trastuzumab (originator reference brand Herceptin®)

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/biosimilar-awareness-initiative/$File/Factsheet-Update-for-consumers-and-carers-Biosimilar-trastuzumab-on-the-PBS-05-2020.pdf

 

If you have any concerns or queries, please feel free to discuss this with one of our clinical pharmacists by calling 1300 466 324.

 

We acknowledge the assistance of Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Queensland in developing this information.