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Similar or the Same? Why biosimilars are not the solution

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Abstract
Advancements in the field of biotechnology have accelerated the development of drugs that are manufactured from cultures of living cells, commonly referred to as 'biologics'. Due to the complexity of the production process, generic biologics are unlikely to be chemically identical to the reference product, and accordingly are referred to as 'biosimilars.' Encouraging the development of biosimilars has been presented as the key solution to decrease prices and increase access to biologics, but the development and use of biosimilars continues to raise problems, none of which can easily be addressed. Developing a biosimilar requires considerable time and financial resources, and legitimate safety concerns necessitate elaborate clinical testing of biosimilars. As a consequence, the introduction of biosimilars onto the market has not resulted in significant price reductions, and concerns regarding the substitution and interchangeability of original biologics with biosimilars persist. This article will explain how the biologics production process distorts the trade-offs that traditionally guided both patent protection and regulatory exclusivities: disclosure as a key condition for benefiting from the corresponding monopoly position. Hence, we propose establishing a mechanism of mandatory deposit of the original biologic's cell line at the stage of the regulatory approval as the most effective remedy.

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Chicago
Diependaele, Lisa, Julian Cockbain, and Sigrid Sterckx. 2018. “Similar or the Same? Why Biosimilars Are Not the Solution.” Ed. Aaron Kesselheim. Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics 46 (3): 776–790.
APA
Diependaele, L., Cockbain, J., & Sterckx, S. (2018). Similar or the Same? Why biosimilars are not the solution. (A. Kesselheim, Ed.)JOURNAL OF LAW MEDICINE & ETHICS , 46(3), 776–790.
Vancouver
1.
Diependaele L, Cockbain J, Sterckx S. Similar or the Same? Why biosimilars are not the solution. Kesselheim A, editor. JOURNAL OF LAW MEDICINE & ETHICS . SAGE Publishing and American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics; 2018;46(3):776–90.
MLA
Diependaele, Lisa, Julian Cockbain, and Sigrid Sterckx. “Similar or the Same? Why Biosimilars Are Not the Solution.” Ed. Aaron Kesselheim. JOURNAL OF LAW MEDICINE & ETHICS 46.3 (2018): 776–790. Print.
@article{8571288,
  abstract     = {Advancements in the field of biotechnology have accelerated the development of drugs that are manufactured from cultures of living cells, commonly referred to as 'biologics'. Due to the complexity of the production process, generic biologics are unlikely to be chemically identical to the reference product, and accordingly are referred to as 'biosimilars.' Encouraging the development of biosimilars has been presented as the key solution to decrease prices and increase access to biologics, but the development and use of biosimilars continues to raise problems, none of which can easily be addressed. Developing a biosimilar requires considerable time and financial resources, and legitimate safety concerns necessitate elaborate clinical testing of biosimilars. As a consequence, the introduction of biosimilars onto the market has not resulted in significant price reductions, and concerns regarding the substitution and interchangeability of original biologics with biosimilars persist. This article will explain how the biologics production process distorts the trade-offs that traditionally guided both patent protection and regulatory exclusivities: disclosure as a key condition for benefiting from the corresponding monopoly position. Hence, we propose establishing a mechanism of mandatory deposit of the original biologic's cell line at the stage of the regulatory approval as the most effective remedy.},
  author       = {Diependaele, Lisa and Cockbain, Julian and Sterckx, Sigrid},
  editor       = {Kesselheim, Aaron},
  issn         = {10731105},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF LAW MEDICINE \& ETHICS },
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {776--790},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publishing and American Society of Law, Medicine \& Ethics},
  title        = {Similar or the Same? Why biosimilars are not the solution},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1073110518804241},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2018},
}

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