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Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have become the standard of care in the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), colorectal cancer (CRC) and HER2-positive breast cancer in Brazil and Mexico. However, the patents of MabThera (Roche’s rituximab), Herceptin (Roche’s trastuzumab), Avastin (Roche’s bevacizumab), and Erbitux (Merck Serono’s cetuximab) are expiring, and biosimilars of these agents will compete with the original brands and emerging therapies in the treatment of these cancers. The public healthcare systems in Brazil and Mexico currently provide incomplete coverage for these costly biologic treatments. Biosimilars are expected to be more affordable alternatives that may enable these cost-conscious healthcare systems to provide wider coverage for targeted biologic treatment for NHL, breast cancer, and CRC.
This Emerging Physician & Payer Forum report draws on the insights of 164 surveyed medical oncologists and seven interviewed payers in Brazil and Mexico to explore the dynamics that will affect the use and sales of biosimilars and branded biologics for NHL, breast cancer, and CRC in these markets. Interviewees were required to be influential in determining patient access to key biologics used in the treatment of NHL, breast cancer, and CRC at the institutional or regional/national level, including the current and future uptake of biosimilars (and other copy biologics), and came from the following backgrounds:
- Brazil: Pharmacy specialist with oversight of Hospital das Clinicas’ (HC) pharmaceutical assistance programs and member of the P&T committee at the HC of the University of São Paulo (USP); Member of the pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee and supply center service at INCA (Instituto Nacional do Cancer) in Rio de Janeiro; Managing medical auditor of a major HMO based in São Paulo; Brazilian physician and key opinion leader (KOL) for an NGO that provides regulatory and scientific leadership about biologic medicines and biosimilars in Latin America.
- Mexico: Coordinator of clinical practice guidelines and new drug inclusions at CENETEC-Salud; Evaluator of new oncology drugs and their efficacy in patients at IMSS and member of the Mexican Oncology Society; Medical director at ISSSTE’s “20th of November” National Medical Center with oversight of the purchase of medicines and formulary inclusion at ISSSTE.
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