In almost all countries, the incidence of cancer is increasing significantly. In Europe, cancer represents the second highest cause of death, with the number of new cases increasing by approximately 50% from 2.1 million to 3.1 million between 1995 and 2018.1 Cancer places a significant burden on healthcare systems. The cost of cancer medicines is increasing, driven largely by the introduction of new, innovative cancer treatments. This raises questions about the future sustainability of cancer care and presents significant challenges for decision-makers in providing patients with access to treatments and effective new cancer medicines. Furthernore, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted cancer services but made the need for more efficient use of available healthcare resources even more pivotal.2
Biosimilars can play a critical role in relieving our overburdened healthcare system and ensure millions of patients can continue to access life changing biologic therapy, while driving much-needed affordability and sustainability within cancer care.
Across Europe, the use of biosimilars varies by country and by molecule, and hence does the use by patients and impact on pricing. Much of this variability can be linked to differences in policy elements across health systems that contribute to sustainable market conditions for biosimilars. Despite these challenges, huge strides have been made in favour of biosimilars, however more can be done. By continuing to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to address the inherent policy and regulatory challenges, we can unlock the numerous benefits that biosimilars can provide to both healthcare systems and patients and create a more sustainable foundation for the future.
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