Authors: Atzeni, Sebastiani, Ricci, Celano, Gremese, Iannone, Meroni, Minghetti, Sarzi-Puttini, Ferraccioli, Lapadula.
The recent availability of biosimilars as a result of the expiry of the patents of first-generation biotechnological drugs may theoretically reduce the direct costs of such treatments, making their use accessible to a larger number of patients. However, the currently available clinical data refer to a relatively small number of patients, and do not provide sufficient information concerning long-term efficacy and safety or the frequency of rare adverse events. Given the importance of the introduction of biosimilar drugs and the limitations of current knowledge of their efficacy and safety profiles, the authors believed it was mandatory to draw up a position paper for Italian Rheumatologists. Moreover, in order to guarantee their safety, it is mandatory to indicate behavioural rules for the involved specialists and competent authorities, and perform ad hoc clinical trials and appropriate drug surveillance.
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