Breast Cancer: Biosimilar Medicines

Department of Health written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England has provided any guidance to hospital trusts and clinicians on the introduction of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) for breast cancer.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

A final date for the availability of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) has yet to be agreed. Therefore NHS England has not yet issued any guidance on the introduction of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) for breast cancer. However, NHS England has discussed the introduction and uptake of biosimilar trastuzumab with the Cancer Vanguard. The Vanguard is a group of National Health Service trusts looking at developing new models of care and providing replicable models for cancer care nationally that will act as blueprints for the NHS.

The Cancer Vanguard will provide guidance and supporting documentation to hospital trusts and clinicians in the same way that documents were provided to support the introduction of biosimilar rituximab. Once a firm date is known, NHS trusts will be contacted regarding the availability of biosimilar trastuzumab and what they must do to ensure uptake. This will include linkages to the supporting documents issued by the Vanguard.

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