Generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical company and Novartis subsidiary Sandoz announced its plan to accelerate patient access to biosimilars.

In a 15 June statement, Sandoz said that it hoped the Act4Biosimilars action plan will provide actionable solutions to overcome barriers preventing patient access to biosimilars. It is aiming to improve the approvability, acceptability, accessibility, and affordability of biosimilars.

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This news comes at a time when biosimilars are positioned to reduce costs for patients across the board, with industry disruptors bringing more affordable options to the table.

Act4Biosimilars Steering Committee member Emeritus Tore Kvien praised the benefits of biosimilars in making drugs accessible and said “the time to globalise biosimilars is now”.

According to the company, issues of regulation, education and procurement were the root of issues in the Americas. More specifically in the US, Sandoz claims biosimilars have been hampered by interchangeability regulatory guidelines and a lack of alignment across stakeholder groups for educational materials causing confusion amongst patients and healthcare professionals. The latter also impacted Canada and Brazil.

By the end of the year, the company will seek to identify similar issues in European biosimilars, followed by the Middle East and Africa in Q1 2024, and Asia Pacific in Q2.

Sandoz also drew attention to regulatory gaps in Columbia and Ecuador, potentially exposing patients to inferior biocopies that failed to meet World Health Organization standards.

Unsustainable procurement practices such as single-winner tenders seen in Mexico and Brazil were also highlighted as a source of drug supply continuity risks and overall disruptions to patient care.

This comes as part of the company’s Act4Biosimilars initiative launched last year. Led by a multidisciplinary committee of patient advocacy leaders, healthcare professionals, biosimilar experts, and industry leaders from across the globe, it aims to increase biosimilar adoption by 30 percentage points in over 30 countries by 2030.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation education, support and advocacy executive vice-president Laura Wingate and Vulto Pharma Education & Consultancy (VuPEC) founder Arnold Vulto supported Sandoz’s initiative and called upon other healthcare professionals to help implement its plan.