Pricing and reimbursement of biosimilars, their role in the healthcare system, and opportunities for streamlining the social benefit as a result of their implementation have been discussed at a conference in Parliament. The topic of the event held under the auspices of the parliamentary Healthcare Committee was “Biosimilars: present and future for a sustainable healthcare”. The conference was organised by the Bulgarian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (BG Pharma) and Medicines for Europe (European Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association).
Seeking opportunities for a longer and healthier life of the Bulgarian and European population is a duty of all policymakers in healthcare, emphasised Chair of the Healthcare Committee Dr Daniela Daritkova at the opening of the conference. She said that solutions towards that goal should be achieved with a consensus between experts, the NGO sector and the industry. Extreme solutions are not helpful to the sustainable healthcare model, and therefore the budget framework of the sector needs to be balanced, added Dr Daniela Daritkova. The Bulgarian healthcare system should have a long-term vision and our job is to give patients access to quality, efficient and effective medicines, she said.
The event was attended by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Nigyar Dzhafer, MPs, Chair of the National Council on Prices and Reimbursement Prof. Nikolay Danchev, Chair of ISPOR CEE Consortium Prof. Guenka Petrova, and others.
The conference participants agreed on the idea that in order to ensure timely access for more patients who needed modern treatment, it was necessary to have a government policy aimed at improving the awareness of medical experts and patients about the quality, safety and effectiveness of biosimilars and encouraging their use. Biosimilars are as close as possible or similar to existing biological medicines (reference medicines), which have shown clinical equivalence in terms of effectiveness and safety. They are new biological products, similar or very close to the identity of medicines that have been already licensed. In the European Union, they have been used since 2006 as an alternative to reference medicinal products.