About Biosimilars

This information explains what biosimilars are.

During your cancer treatment, you may take medications known as biologics. Biologics are medications that are usually a copy of something natural, such as an antibody, hormone, or enzyme. They are used to treat cancers and other diseases.

Biosimilars are biologics that are nearly-exact copies of a biologic that is already in use. The biologic that a biosimilar is based off of is called the reference biologic. There are no meaningful differences between the reference biologic and its biosimilars. Biosimilars are just as safe and work just as well as the reference biologic. Biosimilars used in practice are tested and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Facts About Biosimilars

The following are some facts about biosimilars and what they mean for your treatment:

  • Biosimilars are given the same way as reference biologics are given.
  • Biosimilars are given at the same strength and dose as the reference biologics.
  • Biosimilars have the same side effects as the reference biologics.
  • Biosimilars were created to help lower the cost of medications. Some insurance companies won’t cover the cost of a reference biologic if a biosimilar version is available.
 

If you have other questions about biosimilars and your cancer treatment, talk with your healthcare provider. You can also learn more at the FDA’s website: www.fda.gov/drugs/biosimilars/patient-materials.

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