In a publication in BioDrugs, researchers sought to methodically summarize and evaluate the findings of existing studies about patients’ opinions of biosimilars by evaluating their attitudes and knowledge.

The authors systematically reviewed published studies concerning patients’ perceptions of biosimilars using databases of China National Knowledge Infrastructure, SinoMed, Web of Science, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library. Two independent reviewers screened 2,197 Chinese or English papers published between January 1, 2018, and October 1, 2022. The researchers evaluated the quality of the included studies by utilizing the Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal tools.

The systematic review included 43 studies, 37 of which were cross-sectional quantitative studies, three were quasi-experimental studies, and three were qualitative studies based on interviews. The sample sizes ranged from nine to 6,554 patients.

The results revealed that 22 studies of 31 studies examining patients’ acceptance of biosimilars inficated that the majority of participants conveyed satisfaction with treatment utilizing biosimilars.

The researchers also noted that negative impacts influencing patients’ attitudes about biosimilars include skepticism about the clinical effects and regulatory approval pathway. Most patients understood the economic advantages of biosimilars, yet some individuals inaccurately perceived that lower prices correlated with lower quality.

In general, most patients lacked knowledge about biosimilars, with reported ranges of 6% to 51% of participants who noted familiarity with biosimilars, and 25% to 58% believed they did not have adequate knowledge about biosimilars. Participants indicated that the principal sources for obtaining information on biosimilars were physicians, pharmacists, medicines agencies, academia, and patient associations. However, the authors noted a lack of counseling from healthcare providers about biosimilars.

Based on their findings, the authors concluded that most patients indicated that they were satisfied with biosimilars for their treatments, but inadequate knowledge was a principal factor that impacted their views on these products.

The authors wrote, “It is essential to maintain a focus on educating healthcare professionals about biosimilars, including their clinical outcomes and the regulatory pathway, which equips them to provide comprehensive and informed guidance to patients.”

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