05.01.2018 change 05.01.2018

Dr Borkowski: Biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars are carriers of progress in the treatment of many patients

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Reference biopharmaceuticals and so-called biosimilars are carriers of progress in the treatment of many patients, believes pharmacologist Dr. Leszek Borkowski. Research on such drugs may be financed by the institute, the creation of which was announced in December by PM Mateusz Morawiecki.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin announced in December a program of research on Polish heart disease and cancer drugs. For this purpose, PLN 0.5 billion will be allocated this year. The Institute of Medical Biotechnology will also be established. Plans include organizing competitions and selecting teams that will carry out research on modern medicines.

Dr Leszek Borkowski, clinical pharmacologist at the Wola Hospital in Warsaw, explained that reference biopharmaceuticals are those that are protected by patent. When patent protection expires and they can also be manufacture by other manufacturers, they are called biosimilars.

"Biosimilars are often manufactured by the same pharmaceutical companies that manufacture previously developed reference biopharmaceuticals" - emphasised Dr. Borkowski. This is due to the fact that while biosimilars are usually 25-30 percent cheaper than reference drugs, their prices are still high enough to generate large profits.

"Governments of all countries support the manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals: research, testing, preclinical and clinical trials. This work requires a lot of time, knowledge and money, so it is important that the Polish government intends to support it, extending a hand to those who have the appropriate know-how" - said Dr. Borkowski in an interview with PAP.

Biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars are increasingly used in various diseases, especially oncological, autoimmune, rheumatic diseases, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

"No one has developed a reference biopharmaceutical in Poland yet, but we have people with the appropriate know-how who are on the way to obtain one, which is why the state should support these efforts. Until now, there was only talk about it and no specific proposals" - emphasised Dr. Borkowski.

The expert added that the reference biopharmaceuticals are expensive, one year therapy often costs, for example, 100,000 PLN, and there are even more expensive preparations. Reducing the cost of such treatments by 25-30 percent through the introduction of biosimilars could mean huge savings for the healthcare budget. (PAP)

Author: Zbigniew Wojtasiński

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