Physician Views: Gauging oncologist sentiment towards biosimilar Herceptin

Another biosimilar landmark has been reached in Europe, with last week's confirmation that the European Medicine Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended approval of Samsung Bioepis' Ontruzant. With full EU approval expected shortly, Ontruzant will become the first available biosimilar version of Herceptin (trastuzumab) – Roche's cornerstone therapy for HER2-postive breast cancer.

So how do oncologists expect to use Ontruzant and other biosimilar trastuzumab products when they become available? – this issue is discussed in some detail in FirstWord's recently published Therapy Trends – Breast Cancer: KOL Insight report and to provide additional insight we are snap-polling EU-based oncologists with the following questions…

The first biosimilar version of Herceptin received a positive recommendation from the EMA's CHMP. This will be referred to the European Commission and marketing approval will likely be granted shortly thereafter. Assuming approval is granted and you are asked to use this biosimilar to treat patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, will you…?

Support it – Biosimilars are approved by the European regulator and potential cost savings are beneficial to the healthcare system

Accept it – I would rather use the branded originator, but biosimilars are approved by the European regulator and potential cost savings are beneficial to the healthcare system

Question it – I would be worried about clinical discrepancies irrespective of regulatory approval; will be situations where I insist on using the branded originator

Reject it – I will actively seek to reject use of the biosimilar in most cases

Reject it outright – I will refuse to use the biosimilar in all cases 

What about for the treatment of neo-adjuvant and adjuvant HER2-positive breast cancer?

Support it – Biosimilars are approved by the European regulator and potential cost savings are beneficial to the healthcare system

Accept it – I would rather use the branded originator, but biosimilars are approved by the European regulator and potential cost savings are beneficial to the healthcare system

Question it – I would be worried about clinical discrepancies irrespective of regulatory approval; will be situations where I insist on using the branded originator

Reject it – I will actively seek to reject use of the biosimilar in most cases

Reject it outright – I will refuse to use the biosimilar in all cases 

Evaluating your current use of branded Herceptin across all stages of treatment, to what extent do you anticipate the availability of subcutaneous Herceptin will limit utilisation of the biosimilar (which, initially at least, will only be available in intravenous formulation)?

No impact

Marginal impact

Moderate impact

Significant impact

Very significant impact

Would you discuss with your patient the planned use of a biosimilar as an alternative to branded Herceptin?

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Often

Always

Assuming approval of biosimilar Herceptin is granted and you are asked to use it, will you require additional education about the product before you use it?

No – I will use it in exactly the same way as branded Herceptin

No – The label/package insert will prove sufficient

Yes – will require some additional information

Yes – will require much additional information

Yes – will require significant additional information

Results and related analysis will shortly be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here.

As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions. Note: FirstWord Polls are powered by Medefield MedePolls, a fast-turnaround service to conduct instant polls of up to five questions with guaranteed samples that include physicians from dozens of specialties and over 100 markets. To conduct this poll with a different audience, or an entirely different poll, contact us at info@firstwordpharma.com.

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