Session Type: ACR Poster Session C
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
With the recent introduction of biosimilars in the US market, providers lack knowledge of how these agents compare to reference biologics and the implications for clinical practice. Targeted continuing education (CE) is a suitable platform to assess knowledge of and attitudes towards biosimilars among providers of patients with rheumatic disease as well as to address persisting gaps towards enhanced patient care.
Vindico Medical Education partnered with Kynectiv, Inc. to provide an interactive CE activity targeted to rheumatologists, internists, and pharmacists who care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A survey of 17 patient influencers representative of over 650,000 patients with RA was also sent to gauge alignment of patient/provider views of biosimilars. Data was collected from October 2016 through October 2017.
Results: Overall, 49% of providers (n=598) indicated that their knowledge regarding the differences between biosimilars and reference biologics was fair or poor; the gap was more striking among pharmacists (n=186) versus rheumatologists (n=161). Similarly, 66% lacked knowledge of the regulatory pathway for biosimilars, though there was minimal difference across disciplines. Despite these knowledge gaps, nearly 78% of rheumatologists report willingness to prescribe biosimilars. Regarding pharmacy-level substitution of biosimilars, 57% of pharmacists agree that it should be allowed without restriction if deemed interchangeable by the FDA, though only 16% of rheumatologists agreed. Instead, most rheumatologists felt that a biosimilar should be substituted only of the prescriber was informed. Regarding patient concerns about biosimilars, physicians and pharmacists over-estimated concerns regarding decreased efficacy and under-estimated concerns regarding side effects. The greatest concern among patients was being forced to switch from a reference biologic to a biosimilar due to payor restrictions. Importantly, following completion of the activity, there was an 84% relative increase in knowledge regarding biosimilars, and 87% had begun talking to patients about biosimilars.
Physicians and pharmacists lack knowledge regarding the approval and regulation of biosimilars as well as how these agents differ from reference biologics. In addition, they do not recognize patient concerns regarding biosimilars. These knowledge and practice gaps were closed via participation in this targeted CE activity, demonstrating the continued need for CE to activate learning and ensure the proper use of biosimilars.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Robinson K, Esgro R. Revealing and Addressing Knowledge Gaps Regarding Biosimilars in Rheumatology Practice with Targeted Continuing Education and Patient Surveys [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/revealing-and-addressing-knowledge-gaps-regarding-biosimilars-in-rheumatology-practice-with-targeted-continuing-education-and-patient-surveys/. Accessed October 17, 2021.
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