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Pharmaceuticals 2014, 7(9), 943-953; doi:10.3390/ph7090943

Barriers to the Use of Trastuzumab for HER2+ Breast Cancer and the Potential Impact of Biosimilars: A Physician Survey in the United States and Emerging Markets

1
Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr. Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37208-3599, USA
2
Early Drug Development for Innovative Therapies Division, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti, 435-20141 Milano, Italy
3
Pfizer Inc, 235 East 42nd St, New York, NY 10017-5755, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [661 KB, uploaded 17 September 2014]

Abstract

Trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy has become a standard of care for patients with HER2+ breast cancer. The cost of therapy, however, can limit patient access to trastuzumab in areas with limited financial resources for treatment reimbursement. This study examined access to trastuzumab and identified potential barriers to its use in the United States, Mexico, Turkey, Russia and Brazil via physician survey. The study also investigated if the availability of a biosimilar to trastuzumab would improve access to and use of HER2 monoclonal antibody therapy. Across all countries, a subset of oncologists reported barriers to the use of trastuzumab in a neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting. Common barriers to the use of trastuzumab included issues related to insurance coverage, drug availability and cost to the patient. Overall, nearly half of oncologists reported that they would increase the use of HER2 monoclonal antibody therapy across all treatment settings if a lower cost biosimilar to trastuzumab were available. We conclude that the introduction of a biosimilar to trastuzumab may alleviate cost-related barriers to treatment and could increase patient access to HER2-directed therapy in all countries examined. View Full-Text
Keywords: trastuzumab; biosimilar; access; emerging markets; HER2+ breast cancer trastuzumab; biosimilar; access; emerging markets; HER2+ breast cancer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lammers, P.; Criscitiello, C.; Curigliano, G.; Jacobs, I. Barriers to the Use of Trastuzumab for HER2+ Breast Cancer and the Potential Impact of Biosimilars: A Physician Survey in the United States and Emerging Markets. Pharmaceuticals 2014, 7, 943-953.

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