Utilizing Data Consortia to Monitor Safety and Effectiveness of Biosimilars and Their Innovator Products

AUTHORS: AMCP Task Force on Biosimilar Collective Intelligence Systems



BACKGROUND: The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act, directed the FDA to create an approval pathway for biologic products shown to be biosimilar or interchangeable with an FDA-approved innovator drug. These biosimilars will not be chemically identical to the reference agent. Investigational studies conducted with biosimilar agents will likely provide limited real-world evidence of their effectiveness and safety. How do we best monitor effectiveness and safety of biosimilar products once approved by the FDA and used more extensively by patients?  OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility of developing a distributed research network that will use health insurance plan and health delivery system data to detect biosimilar safety and effectiveness signals early and be able to answer important managed care pharmacy questions from both the government and managed care organizations. 

METHODS: Twenty-one members of the AMCP Task Force on Biosimilar Collective Intelligence Systems met November 12, 2013, to discuss issues involved in designing this consortium and to explore next steps. 

RESULTS: The task force concluded that a managed care biosimilars research consortium would be of significant value. Task force members agreed that it is best to use a distributed research network structurally similar to existing DARTNet, HMO Research Network, and Mini-Sentinel consortia. However, for some surveillance projects that it undertakes, the task force recognizes it may need supplemental data from managed care and other sources (i.e., a “hybrid” structure model). 

CONCLUSIONS: The task force believes that AMCP is well positioned to lead the biosimilar-monitoring effort and that the next step to developing a
biosimilar-innovator collective intelligence system is to convene an advisory council to address organizational governance.

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