Results from a national survey entitled “Patient Choice: National Survey on Biologics and Biosimilars” conducted by the Biologics Prescribers Collaborative (BPC) show that an estimated 50% of individuals who used an innovator biologic or follow-on biosimilar reported knowing only “a little” about biosimilars. The findings also noted that cost savings are the primary factor that would persuade patients to switch from an innovator biologic to a biosimilar.
The BPC wrote, “To gauge patient knowledge regarding biologics, biosimilars, and the process of switching between them, the Biologics Prescribers Collaborative conducted a national survey of 300 patients. Survey findings reveal information gaps, as well as opportunities to educate patients about the choices they have regarding biologics and biosimilars.”
Key findings of the survey included the following:
• With regard to patient knowledge, results revealed that while 46% of survey respondents reported receiving an innovator biologic or biosimilar for between 1 and 5 years, respondents varied in how much they knew about the medications: 50% reported knowing “a little” about biologics and biosimilars; 36% did not know that biosimilars are commonly less expensive than their innovator biologic counterparts; and 55% did not realize that interchangeable biosimilars can be swapped with their innovator biologic at the pharmacy level without the prescribing clinician’s involvement. Moreover, 68% revealed that they would consult their primary healthcare provider for more information.
• Regarding patient confidence and trust, respondents were mostly confident in biosimilars, the treatment’s safety, and their effectiveness, and 85% of participants agreed that biosimilars benefit the healthcare system. An estimated 95% reported trusting innovator biologics, while 91% stated they had confidence in biosimilars. An estimated 74% and 71% of participants indicated that biosimilars were as safe and effective, respectively, when compared to their innovator biologics. Additionally, 70% agreed that biosimilars save patients money.
• Two-thirds (66%) of respondents had taken a biosimilar, and the majority (84%) of those individuals who used a biosimilar had switched from an innovator biologic, with 43% citing that a clinician recommendation was the motive for switching from a biologic to a biosimilar. An estimated 41% stated that the biosimilar worked better, 33% noted that the biologic worked better, and 22% did not observe a difference.
• Cost savings were noted as the principal factor that would lead patients to consider switching, and nearly half (49%) of surveyed patients stated they would consider switching if the biosimilar would save them money.
The complete survey can be found at https://biologicsprescribers.org/education/patient-choice-national-survey-innovator-biologics-biosimilars/.
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