Over the past few years, there have been breakthroughs in biologic therapies in the treatment of rheumatologic conditions. This has opened the door for new types of biological products such as biosimilars, a type of biological product that are highly similar in characteristics to their FDA-approved reference product. But what will these new agents mean for patients and providers?
In order to maximize the potential of these new agents and safeguard patient access and potential cost savings, physicians must be knowledgeable about biosimilars. The ACR Committee on Rheumatologic Care (CORC) will hold a practice-focused session, Biosimilar Medicine: Changing Landscape in Health Care, on Monday at 9:00 am in Room 31 C. Rheumatologists Jonathan Kay, MD, Director of Clinical Rheumatology Research and Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Angus Worthing, MD, of Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates in Washington, DC, and Chair of the ACR’s Government Affairs Committee, will lead this hour-long open-forum presentation.
Drs. Kay and Worthing will share insights on biosimilar product reimbursement and pricing, regulatory updates, market access, safety, interchangeability, and product-switching policies across various healthcare models. With the first seven U.S. biosimilars approved and more in the pipeline with the FDA, it is critical for rheumatology practices to develop business-level strategies to comply with evolving regulations, minimize risks, and execute long-term decisions to prepare their practice and patients for success. Taking biosimilars from theory to practice will require rheumatologists and rheumatology healthcare professionals to understand the background in an effort to guide patients through any concerns with quality, safety, and efficacy as well as any cost-saving potential for their out-of-pocket expenses as they introduce these agents as treatment options.
As with any new drug or treatment methodology, everyone will have questions. The ACR places a concentrated focus on the importance of providing access to training and education on emerging topics and issues. Physicians and healthcare professionals will benefit from this strategic, hands-on educational opportunity to discuss any perceptions and pathways aligned with biosimilars.
Visit the practice management booth at the ACR Discovery Center (located in the Exhibit Hall) for more information on the various tools and resources available for rheumatology practices, or visit the practice management page on the ACR website at www.rheumatology.org/Practice-Quality.