Background: The introduction of 4 adalimumab biosimilars was challenging for the health service and patients alike. A group of patient organisations representing rheumatology, dermatology and gastroenterology patients worked with NHS England in producing materials for disseminating information to prescribers and patients to ensure smooth and appropriate transition to biosimilar products from the originator product as appropriate. These patient groups wanted to know how the ‘switch’ process was implemented and if shared decision making was practiced.
Objectives: To gather patient feedback on biosimilar switch process and report findings back to NHS England as well as provide the patient organisations information to develop any future resources to help improve patient and physician shared decision making.
Methods: A working group of the 4 organisations collaborated on designing an online survey asking questions around how the individual was communicated with regarding their treatment being switched to a biosimilar; was there any choice or perceived input into the decision making process; how queries or issues were handled and overall satisfaction on how the individual felt their personal preferences/needs were met.
Results: 899 useable responses were gathered representing 52% Rheumatology patients; 42% Gastroenterology patients and 5% Dermatology patients with remaining 1% more complex specialties. More than half of patients were not asked for their consent before their treatment was switched to a biosimilar of adalimumab with only 40% giving consent 7% couldn’t remember or were unsure if consent was given. 75% were not at all satisfied or not satisfied with the ability to decline being switched with only 12% feeling that they had been given an option to decline being switched.
Conclusion: Shared Decision Making (SDM) needs to be put into action not just words. There is a clear majority that are dissatisfied with the communication they had prior to the switch and are very dissatisfied with the lack of patient engagement in the decision-making process. NRAS, NASS, Crohn’s & Colitis UK and the Psoriasis Association will continue to collaborate with NHS England and other stakeholders as appropriate to make Shared Decision Making a reality not just rhetoric.
Acknowledgments: National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society UK; Crohns’ & Colitis UK;
Psorarsis Association, UK; National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
Disclosure of Interests: Clare Jacklin Grant/research support from: NRAS has received grants from pharmaceutical companies to carry out a number of projects, Consultant of: I have been paid a speakers fee to participate in advisory boards, in house training of staff and health professional training opportunities, Speakers bureau: Various pharma companies, Ailsa Bosworth Speakers bureau: a number of pharmaceutical companies for reasons of inhouse training, advisory boards etc.
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