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Most Pharmacists Show Good Grasp of Biosimilar Medications, Study Finds


November 20, 2020

Pharmacists appear well informed about biosimilar medications, with more than 80% demonstrating solid knowledge about the drugs in a recent survey. Researchers published their findings in the International Journal of General Medicine. 

“Pharmacists, being the drug experts, need to be well aware of the applied handling of biosimilar medicines,” researchers wrote. “They are an integral educator, trailblazer, and advocate of biosimilar integration across all clinical settings.” 

The study included 305 pharmacists working in community pharmacies, hospitals, or academic institutions in Karachi, Pakistan. Each completed a 30-item survey designed to assess their knowledge, attitude, and practices toward integrating biosimilar medications into clinical practice. 

Survey responses for more than 80% of participants showed a good grasp of biosimilar medications, including their safety, efficacy, compatibility, and cost issues, according to the study. Nearly half of pharmacists said they were confident in using biosimilars in clinical practice. 

However, 45% expressed concern about safety, 30% about quality, and 32% about efficacy of biosimilar medications. The potential risk of unexpected adverse effects was the most commonly cited barrier of biosimilar use, the study found. 

“The respondents … were enthusiastic about gaining more insight to integrate biosimilar medications into routine clinical practice,” researchers reported. 

Jolynn Tumolo 

Reference 

Shakeel S, Hassali MA, Rehman H, Rehman AU, Muneswarao J. Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Towards Biosimilars and Interchangeable Products: A Prescriptive Insight by the Pharmacists. Int J Gen Med. 2020;13:1075-1082. Published 2020 Nov 11. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S266545

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