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The European Commission needs to prioritise equitable access to biosimilar medicines in Europe


25 Jan 2022


Health & Consumers

Brussels, 25 January 2022

Over 15 years ago, the world’s first biosimilar was launched. This was very much a European success story, with the European Medicines Agency leading the way to bringing more affordable biologics to patients.

Biosimilar medicines have had a tremendous impact on:

  • Patient access: Biosimilars paved the way for millions of patients to access life changing therapies, providing earlier and broader access across oncology, immunology and endocrinology.
  • Healthcare system sustainability: Through savings, healthcare systems can focus resources on innovative products to improve the lives of even more people. To date, biosimilar medicines have saved 18 billion Euro in Europe
  • Innovation: Biosimilars bring competition to the market, one of the most powerful triggers for further investment in research and innovation.

However, more needs to be done to achieve equitable access to biologics in Europe. 

As stressed in the IQVIA 2021 Impact of Biosimilar Competition report: “Not all European countries have been either willing or able to increase access to biological medicines in the available therapy classes”. There remains a lot that countries across Europe can do to increase the use of biosimilars and close access gaps, for the full benefits of patients. The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe must help unlock the full potential of biosimilar medicines. These calls have been echoed by the European Parliament in the report on the EU pharmaceutical strategy and EU beating cancer plan.

Isabell Remus, Chair of the Biosimilar Medicines Sector group of Medicines for Europe, said: “The access gaps will not close by themselves, this requires conscious policy-making that puts biosimilar medicines – and patients -- at the centre. This can only happen with strong political leadership to drive the right mix of policies. The European Commission has been a strong ally in the past 15 years and we very much count on its leadership to keep shaping the right environment for biosimilars over the next 15 years.”


The policy framework for biosimilar medicines will be discussed at a stakeholder focused webinar, entitled “15 Years of Biosimilars: Improving Equitable Access to Essential and Affordable Biological Medicines in Europe”. The webinar will take place at 11.30-13.00 CET on Tuesday 25th January. For more, see here.

The Biosimilar Medicines group

The Biosimilar Medicines Group is a sector group of Medicines for Europe representing the leading companies developing, manufacturing and/or marketing biosimilar medicines across Europe. With more than 15 years of positive patient treatment experience, biosimilar medicines provide today a huge opportunity to deliver significantly improved access to modern therapies for millions of European patients in both chronic and acute care. Our members bring competition to the biological medicines market, thereby increasing access to highly innovative treatments to patients, in Europe and around the world, and supporting the sustainability of the European healthcare systems.

Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at and on Twitter @medicinesforEU. 

Medicines for Europe Communications:

Kate O Regan


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