Guild Learning and Development is partnering with MSD Australia in an online course titled Biosimilars in focus

This is the first of two courses to be launched on this topic and a second course focusing on Brenzys® (etanercept) will be launched in October.

This course examines the manufacturing and regulatory approval process of biologic and biosimilar medicines as well as the safety and efficacy considerations surrounding their use.

Upon completing the course, pharmacists should be able to engage with patients and help to educate them with information regarding the appropriate use of their biosimilar medicine.

Biologic medicines are available in Australia for the treatment of serious diseases such as cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, severe psoriasis, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Because of their targeted efficacy, speed of onset and tolerability, these medicines have revolutionised medical care. They now represent a significant part of healthcare spending and in 2016, six of the top 10 drugs by cost to the Australian Government were biologic medicines.

As originator biologics reach the end of their patents, other manufacturers are able to produce highly similar version of these medicines, known as biosimilars. Importantly, biosimilars help to support the sustainability of the PBS.

Regulatory authorities acknowledge that while there may be some variability between the originator biologic medicine and a biosimilar, these differences are minor and do not affect the safety or efficacy of biosimilars.

There is a great deal of confusion surrounding biosimilars, says the Guild, and pharmacists play a key role in discussing the safety and efficacy consideration with their patients as well as assisting with pharmacovigilance by reporting any adverse events that are witnessed in practice.

This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group 1 CPD (or 1 CPD credit), suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan, which can be converted to 1 hour of Group 2 CPD (or 2 CPD credits) upon successful completion of relevant assessment activities.   

To enrol in this course please visit www.myCPD.org.au

Please contact Guild Learning and Development on 03 9810 9930 or email learninganddevelopment@guild.org.au for more information.

Guild Learning and Development thanks MSD Australia Pty Ltd for their financial support and assistance in the development of this course. 

  1. Aust Prescr (2016). Top 10 drugs. Australian Prescriber.39 (6).
  2. (2017). Biosimilars in the EU: Information guide for healthcare professionals. European Medicines Agency. Available at: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Leaflet/2017/05/WC500226648.pdf. Accessed July 2017