A biosimilar sub group of the Pharmaceutical Market Support Group is working to help the National Health Service achieve benefits from the new biosimilar molecules and to encourage uptake. This work is supported by other activity including the Hospital Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Project work stream of the Lord Carter NHS Productivity & Efficiency Programme and initiatives from NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and manufacturers. Work has focused on identifying efficiency opportunities for specific molecules and as a result a collective assessment of potential savings to the public purse has not been compiled.
In an era of significant economic, demographic and technological challenge it is crucial that patients get the best quality outcomes from medicines. Recent research has given clear evidence that competition between different biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines, creates increased choice for patients and clinicians, and enhanced value propositions for individual medicines. As the range of biosimilar medicines increases, it is important that the NHS plans for their timely, appropriate and cost effective introduction. NHS England in its role as system leader is undertaking a programme of work to support decision makers, such as commissioners, clinicians, pharmacists, patients and others in their consideration of the optimal use of biosimilar medicines.