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How your procurement team can support the achievement of £20m per annum savings by adopting biosimilar medicines

London alone has the potential to avoid costs of up to £20 million in 2016/17 through the adoption of just two biosimilar medicines, demonstrating that the potential across the biosimilar portfolio is huge – and procurement teams have a vital role to play in their adoption.

What is a biosimilar medicine?

A biosimilar medicine is a biological medicine which is highly similar to another biological medicine already licensed for use. It is one which has been shown not to have any clinically meaningful differences from the original biological medicine in terms of quality, safety and efficacy.

Biosimilars are not generic equivalents to their originator biological medicine because the two products are similar but not identical. However, they have met all regulatory requirements in terms of comparative quality, safety and efficacy.


The potential - and your role


The adoption of just two biosimilars - infliximab and etanercept – would save the NHS in London alone £20m in 2016/17.

To help you understand biosimilars and their enormous potential, the LPP Medicines Optimisation and Pharmacy Procurement team has put together a short briefing paper for you.

Procurement teams have a vital role to play in the adoption of biosimilars – by securing clinical engagement and support for their adoption, and by supporting the necessary agreement with commissioners on sharing the savings to be had.

Support from LPP


We do not underestimate the work that will be involved in the introduction of biosimilars, but the rewards in terms of savings for the NHS justify the effort many times over, as you will see from the examples included in the paper. Exploring biosimilars is a must for every NHS organisation.

This work will require close collaboration between clinicians, hospital management and CCGs, with all parties being appropriately incentivised – for example through a gainshare mechanism.

For support in reviewing the potential of biosimilars for your organisation, please contact LPP's Business Intelligence Manager Rishi Rampersad in the first instance.

Understand your own Trust's position

If you would like to understand your own Trust’s position with regard to the adoption of the biosimilars covered in the briefing paper, then please contact Rishi Rampersad who will arrange for the most recent monthly uptake report to be sent to you.

NHS England report

NHS England supports the appropriate use of biosimilars, because it will drive greater competition to release cost efficiencies, and in so doing support the treatment of an increasing number of patients and the uptake of new and innovative medicines.

This report from NHS England summarises the output from two workshops on biosimilar medicines.  Attendees included local stakeholders with decision-making responsibility for commissioning, prescribing, dispensing and monitoring biological medicines (including biosimilars), and patient representatives. 

The workshop was designed to contribute to the development of a biosimilars implementation framework that will support people across the NHS to make appropriate use of biological medicines, including biosimilars.

Become a biosimilars pathfinder organisation

NHS England is looking for clinical and patient NHS biosimilar pathfinders.  If your trust wishes to join the NHS Network or get involved as a clinical or patient NHS pathfinder, email: england.biosimilars@nhs.net

Quick links to the reports:

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LPP is a membership organisation run by and on behalf of its NHS members. Our email address is lpp.comms@nhs.net and our website is at www.lpp.nhs.uk
Copyright © 2016 NHS London Procurement Partnership, All rights reserved.


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