Webinar: biosimilars – update

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Thank you to everyone who took part in our Webinar on Biosimilars on September 8th. IPPOSI is now in a position to share our draft response to the Department of Health’s National Biosimilars Medicine Policy consultation.

If you are a member of IPPOSI you are welcome to comment on the draft response. Email info@ipposi.ie with a request to see the draft submission and you will be provided with a link to a Word Document. We ask that you send us any comments you have by close of business on Tuesday 19th September 2017.

If you were unable to attend the webinar you can view a recording of it here or on the preview screen below (commence player at 4.07 mins for the start of the webinar).


Biosimilars – The next frontier for improved access to medicines- from IPPOSI on Vimeo.


The webinar was facilitated by IPPOSI’s Derick Mitchell, and the speakers were:

  • Marco Greco, as the Chair of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), shared his patient community’s experience of biosimilars; he touched upon questions of efficacy, safety and patient involvement in treatment decisions.
  • Joan O’Callaghan, as a Research Scientist with Regulatory Science Ireland and pharmacist with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), Joan outlined the current regulatory framework in Ireland as well as the findings from a recent study into clinician and pharmacy attitudes towards biosimilars.
  • Prof Lluís Puig, as the Director of the Department of Dermatology at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP) in Barcelona, shared his clinical experience of biosimilars.


Increases to the national spend on medicines has been the subject of much public debate in Ireland in recent months. Faced with the dual challenge of finite budgets and growing patient populations, solutions need to be multi-faceted. Biosimilars can potentially offer savings on existing biologics, which if ring-fenced, can contribute towards more patients being able to access the medicines they need in the future.

It is against this backdrop that the Government announced plans to move forward with a National Biosimilar Medicines Policy “to promote the rational use of biosimilar medicines and to create a sustainable environment for biological medicines in Ireland.” In August, the Department of Health opened a public consultation on a variety of issues including proposals to develop national guidelines around switching and substituting from biologics and biosimilars; to introduce quotas and incentive schemes for prescribing biosimilars; to carry out education and training initiatives to increase the clinician and patient understanding of the role to be played by biosimilars in Ireland.

8 September 2017

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