Report on the Biologics and Biosimilars Patient Access and Advocacy Workshop
4 – 5 May 2017, Munich, Germany
On 4-5th May 2017 GAfPA and EFFCA arranged in Munich Germany a meeting on “Biologics and Biosimilars Patient Access and Advocacy Workshop” which was attended by Patient Organization representatives and physicians from Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia ,Greece , Cyprus, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. AGORA was represented by Suzi Makri and Eva Kritza.
The main issue and topic of the workshop was participants to be facilitated to explore the access and the information that patients (in each of the above countries) have regarding biologic and biosimilar medicines. The concerns and further actions that could be taken by patient organizations, plus what advocacy activity is needed to raise awareness on the subject for governments, HCPs and patients, were the main points of the workshop discussions.
The introduction to the workshop was given by Louisa Avedano ( EFFCA) and Brian Kennedy (GAfPA).
Then, Neil Betteridge (GAfPA) made an excellent presentation on “Biologics and Biosimilars policy issues in the EU”. He presented Professor’s Michael Kaeding research “Pharmacovigilance in the EU:Practical Implementaion across Member States” and in lay language he explained to the group terms and technical information that is usually used in biologic/biosimilar medicines industry (brand,batch,INN etc), and thus initiated an interesting discussion between participants.
Evelyn Groos from Austria and Luisa Avedano (EFFCA) gave a vivid picture of the healthcare system regarding biologics and biosimilars, and from there on, patient organization representatives engaged in discussion, exchanged ideas, proposed activities, shared information and tried to obtain best practices from each others experience.
Finally Brian Kennedy of GAfPA gave a most interesting advocacy presentation on “Allies and Access – How to identify and overcome barriers for patient access” and the workshop ended under the general impression that the team managed to explore important policy issues and that the patient organization representatives present, gained valuable information on biologic and biosimilar medicines.