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Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Towards Biosimilars and Interchangeable Products: A Prescriptive Insight by the Pharmacists

Authors Shakeel S, Hassali MA, Rehman H, Rehman AU, Muneswarao J

Received 7 June 2020

Accepted for publication 7 August 2020

Published 11 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1075—1082


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Sadia Shakeel,1,2 Mohamed Azmi Hassali,1 Hina Rehman,3 Anees ur Rehman,1,4 Jaya Muneswarao1

1Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia; 2Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan; 3Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jinnah Sind Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan; 4Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan

Correspondence: Sadia Shakeel Email

Background: Pharmacists being the drug experts need to be well aware of the applied handling of biosimilar medicines (BSMs). They are an integral educator, trailblazer, and advocate of biosimilar integration across all clinical settings. Therefore, the current study was conducted to assess the pharmacists’ knowledge, attitude, and practices of integrating BSMs into clinical practice.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2019 to November 2019. The community pharmacies, clinical and academic settings in Karachi were approached for gathering the responses of pharmacists towards BSMs and interchangeable products using a 30-item survey form. Pearson correlation and independent sample t-test were used to identify the relationship among independent variables and the responses, considering p values < 0.05 as statistically significant.
Results: Overall, there were 305 survey forms used with a response rate of 87.14%. More than 80% of the respondents have good knowledge about the definition, characteristics, safety and efficacy, compatibility, cost issues, and utilization of BSMs. Around half of the respondents (48.9%, [95% CI 46.6– 51.2]) were confident in using BSMs in clinical practice. However, they were concerned about the BSM’s safety profile (45.2%, [95% CI 42.1– 48.3]), quality (30.2%, [95% CI 28.3– 32.1]), and efficacy issues (32.3%, [95% CI 31.2– 37.5]).
Conclusion: The findings revealed that pharmacists were well informed about the BSMs. However, some of the responses to the attitude demonstrated a lack of understanding of the application of that knowledge. The respondents persuaded that advanced patterns of diseases, product marketing stipulations, and need for better patient care drives higher demand for developing BSMs and were enthusiastic about gaining more insight to integrate BSMs into routine clinical practice.

Keywords: pharmacists, biosimilar medicines, interchangeable products, healthcare, Pakistan

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