WHO to help bring cheap biosimilar cancer drugs to poor
The World Health Organization (WHO) is to launch a pilot project this year to assess cheap copies of expensive biotech cancer drugs in a bid to make such medicines more widely available in poorer countries.
The U.N. agency said on Thursday it would invite drugmakers in September to submit applications for prequalification of so-called biosimilar versions of two such drugs on its essential medicines list, Roche’s Rituxan and Herceptin.
WHO also plans to explore options for prequalifying biosimilar insulin.
The move is a boost for biosimilars which are expected to account for a growing proportion of treatments, particularly for cancer, as patents on the original branded products expire.
- Health Care