Formed in 2011, the National Physicians Biologics Working Group is a home for physicians interested in public policy issues relating to access to biologic therapies, with the mission of developing educational resources such as white papers, policy briefs and videos to be utilized in encouraging informed policymaking. NPBWG members ensure the physician’s perspective is shared as policymakers consider proposals relating to the access, safety and costs of biologic therapies.

While welcoming the approval of interchangeable biosimilars, NPBWG has identified key principles that biosimilar substitution must meet to ensure patient safety. These include: (1) FDA designation of a product as interchangeable before it may be substituted for a prescribed biologic; (2) that biologic products have distinct names to ensure pharmacovigilance; and (3) that physicians be notified of substitutions and be allowed to specify no substitution. As federal and state policymakers consider legislation and regulations establishing standards for the substitution of biosimilars, AfPA has urged that the new laws contain these important safeguards.

NPBWG is a project of the Alliance for Patient Access, a national network of physicians with the shared mission of ensuring and protecting patient access to approved therapies and appropriate clinical care. AfPA accomplishes this mission through educating members on policy priorities and training them to be effective patient advocates.

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