Tribune. The substitution in pharmacies of a biological drug by its biosimilar equivalent is debated today as it was twenty years ago for generics. Several representatives of the profession are committed in favor of adapted patient support and are calling for changes in legislation. It was just a year ago, in the heart of the first confinement: an IFOP survey testified to the growing attachment of the French to their dispensary pharmacist. 97% of them trust us!
Since then, the major role played by pharmacists in the fight against the epidemic has only reinforced the vision of the pharmacy as a place of health. While the Ministry of Health has just opened a consultation on the development of biosimilar drugs, the involvement of pharmacies seems obvious to us.
We want to be able to support patients and strengthen their access to treatment. Less expensive, biosimilars are the equivalent of reference biological drugs as generics are for chemical drugs. They are used in the treatment of serious pathologies, such as diabetes, certain cancers or inflammatory diseases.
Anachronistic regulations to change
Useful, safe and providing savings for our health system, which needs them, these drugs are struggling to find a place in the city, while they are already commonly used in hospitals. Following the example of the National Academy of Pharmacy which recently took a position, no scientific argument today opposes the substitution of these treatments in pharmacies!
However, the regulations, now anachronistic, do not yet authorize the substitution of the pharmacy of a biological drug by its biosimilar. A situation that we want to see evolve quickly, for the benefit of patients, access to care, and security of supplies.
Of course, such a reform must be organized. Patients on biological medication, who often suffer from chronic illnesses, should be able to benefit from specific support and monitoring. They must be properly informed about the drug offered to them, how to use it and its potential impact on daily life.
Pharmacists have always responded
The pharmacist is legitimate today to play this role of advice and support, in conjunction with the prescriber. A local health actor for patients, accessible at any time, he has in-depth knowledge of the overall pathological context of his patients.
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