ABOUT THE PROJECT
BIOSIMILAR EDUCATION IN METASTATIC COLORECTAL CANCER
To improve knowledge and provide resources for patients and healthcare professionals on the topic of biosimilars we, at DiCE, have been working on several initiatives. One of these initiatives is an educational project aiming to improve awareness and understanding on biosimilars within the colorectal cancer patient and healthcare professional communities.
This project represents an extension of our Position Paper on the Use of Biosimilars in Colorectal Cancer (2019), explaining the important role biosimilars play in metastatic colorectal cancer treatment. Building on this position paper, we engaged with patients, patient advocates, clinicians, nurses, industry representatives, health economists, hospital pharmacists from EU countries and formed an expert group to take part in this project and improve the current level of knowledge on biosimilars. To achieve this objective, we have developed various educational tools on biosimilars. All materials have been developed in cooperation with the expert group.
The project was funded by a competitive educational grant by Pfizer and funding from Sandoz. The funders had no role in the content development of the project.
This project aspires at:
- Improving patients and healthcare professionals’ education on biosimilars
- Enhancing colorectal cancer patients’ role in the decision-making process of their treatment
- Facilitating the communication between healthcare professionals and patients around biosimilars
To achieve these objectives, we have been working with an expert group. We jointly identified the main barriers to biosimilar acceptance and agreed on a biosimilar consensus message, based on which the following materials were developed:
- An information brochure about biosimilars for patients with colorectal cancer
- A checklist for healthcare professionals with questions patients with colorectal cancer may have around biosimilars
- Short presentations for healthcare professionals around basic concepts regarding biosimilars
- A short video to support communication around biosimilars between a patient and a clinician
The materials for patients have been developed in close collaboration with patient organisations from the Netherlands, Poland and Spain and our patient experts.
THE BIOSIMILAR EXPERT GROUP
The following experts have collaborated with DiCE on the biosimilars project.
FERNANDO DE MORA
Fernando de Mora is Professor of Pharmacology at the Spanish Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, where he obtained his PhD. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (USA), and shortly after he obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago (USA). He acts as an Academic Consultant and speaker in biosimilars science, regulation and market for healthcare administrations, and public and private organisations (biopharmaceutical industry).
JOHAN DE MUNTER
Johan De Munter graduated as a nurse in 2001 and worked for several years as a registered nurse and nurse consultant in an oncology and haematology ward in two general hospitals in Belgium. He has postgraduate qualifications in pain management, cancer care and teenage and young adult cancer care. In 2010 he transferred to the University Hospital Ghent where he continues to work as a nurse consultant in the haematology/stem cell transplant unit. His professional interests include patient education, supportive care needs, survivorship and adolescent and young adults (AYA) care. He was President of the Chemotherapy Working Group and Board Member of the Flemish Society for Radiology and Oncology Nurses, and Vice-President of the Belgian Haematology Society Nurses’ Committee. In 2017 he was elected as a new European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) Executive Board Member and is the new President-Elect. He is currently working as a Nurse Manager at the University Hospital Ghent Cancer Centre.
Dr Ruiz-Casado trained as a Medical Oncologist after studying Medicine at the University of Salamanca, Spain. She later obtained a PhD at the Universidad de la Coruña, Spain. After several appointments as a Medical Oncologist in different hospitals in Spain, she has been working at the Gastrointestinal Unit of the University Hospital Puerta de Hierro in Majadahonda, Spain since 2012. In parallel, she is an honorary professor and teaching clinical collaborator at the School of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid. She is an expert of the European and Spanish Medicines Agencies. Dr Ruiz-Casado has authored more than 50 publications in the field of Oncology.
Dr Giuliani is a consultant in Medical Oncology currently working at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral, Liverpool, UK. Her main interests are breast cancer and clinical and regulatory development of innovative drugs. She earned her medical degree from the University of Rome, La Sapienza, in 1996 and completed the specialty training in medical oncology in 2000. Dr Giuliani worked at the European Medicines Agency, EMA, as National Expert on secondment (2011-12) and since April 2012 she continues the collaboration with EMA as core member of the EMA Scientific Advisory Group in Oncology (SAG-O). Dr Giuliani is currently Director of Public Policy of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and Chair of the ESMO Global Policy Committee and is a Member of the ESMO Executive Board and ESMO Council. Dr Giuliani is the author of peer reviewed articles and she regularly lectures at international meetings.
Zoltán Kaló is Professor of Health Economics at the Centre for Health Technology Assessment of Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. Before moving to Semmelweis University in 2019 he was the co-director of an international master program in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE). Dr. Kaló is also the founder and leader of Syreon Research Institute, an international research corporation specializing in health policy, health economic modelling and technology assessment. He has 25 years of international experience in academia and industry, specializing in health systems design, HTA implementation, health economics and outcomes research, patient access and pricing policies of healthcare technologies.
Kate O´Regan leads the Communications and Stakeholder Relations team at Medicines for Europe, the trade association representing the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industry. Kate joined Medicines for Europe in 2017, with previous experience in the oncology policy setting. Kate has worked within the Biosimilar Medicines Sector Group of Medicines for Europe to integrate the patient perspective and strengthen patient involvement through working partnerships with patient advocacy groups and representatives in a range of therapeutic areas.
Marc Peeters is Professor of Oncology at Antwerp University, Belgium. He is head of the Oncology Department at the Antwerp University Hospital and coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Oncology Centre Antwerp. He is also Chairman of the College of Oncology. Previously, he was Coordinator of the Digestive Oncology Unit at the University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium. He completed his medical studies at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. He underwent additional training in Oncology and Digestive Oncology at the UZ Gasthuisberg, the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, Paris, the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Dr Peeters is Board Member of the Flemish Society of Gastroenterology, Chair of the Belgian Group of Digestive Oncology and Member of the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology, the European Society of Medical Oncology, the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the gastrointestinal group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Within EORTC, he is co-chair of the metastatic colorectal task force. His research interests have included the identification of molecular markers and therapy modulation in digestive tumours. He has been involved in many clinical studies on therapeutic agents for gastrointestinal tumours, published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and was author of several chapters in oncology books.
Iga Rawicka is an expert in the field of healthcare communications, with over 20 years of experience gained while working in international pharmaceutical and medical companies. For several years, she has been concentrating on her own activities implementing various projects, including educational campaigns in many therapeutic areas, supporting patients in improving their quality of life and striving for better access to treatments in Poland in accordance with international standards. She has been an active Board Member of EuropaColon Polska Foundation since its establishment in 2017. EuropaColon focuses on supporting patients with gastrointestinal diseases, mainly colorectal, pancreatic, stomach, oesophagus and liver cancers. Since 2019, Iga has been a Board Member of DiCE.
Yannick Vandenplas graduated with a Master’s degree in drug development at the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences (KU Leuven, Belgium) in July 2019. After his graduation, he started working as a PhD researcher at the research unit for clinical pharmacology and pharmacotherapy (KU Leuven). During this four-year research project, several studies will be conducted with the aim of formulating proposals for a more sustainable policy framework for best-value biologicals in Belgium. One of the topics that this research project will touch upon is how to improve patient communication and education about biosimilar medicines. This project is receiving support from the Belgian national health insurer (RIZIV/INAMI).
Arnold G. Vulto is Honorary Professor of Hospital Pharmacy & Practical Therapeutics of the Hospital Pharmacy at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He obtained his pharmacy degree at Groningen University, The Netherlands, before completing postgraduate training at the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Pharmacology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands and at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He joined the Erasmus Medical Centre in 1995, where he became the professor of Hospital Pharmacy in 2004. Professor Vulto is a founding member of the MABEL Fund (Market Analysis of Biologics and Biosimilars following Loss of Exclusivity) which is a collaboration between Erasmus Medical Centre and the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
In 2017 he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Leuven. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and was Chairman of the EAHP Scientific Committee from 2003–2006. In 2018 he was bestowed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Professor Vulto was Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy Practice (2005-2012) and has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. Professor Vulto is one of the co-founders of the Generics and Biosimilars Initiative (GaBI) and of Biosimilars The Netherlands, for which he is the chairman.
WOJCIECH M. WYSOCKI
Wojciech M. Wysocki graduated from Jagiellonian University Medical School in Kraków, Poland, in 1999. He is board certified in general surgery (2008) and surgical oncology (2011). In 2008 he received his PhD at Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center in Warsaw. In 2016 he was appointed Associated Professor (rehabilitation) at the same institution. From 2017 to 2019 he was Head of Department of Surgical Oncology at Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center in Kraków. Now he works at Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Surgery and is senior consultant at the Department of Surgery, Surgical Oncology and Vascular Surgery in 5. Military Hospital in Kraków.
He is also a Deputy Head of Scientific Editorial Office at Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology in Warsaw. Prof. Wysocki is Board Member and was a President of the Polish Society of Surgical Oncology (PSSO) from 2018–2020; now he serves as past-President of PSSO. Dr. Wysocki has published over 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has co-authored many chapters in medical handbooks.