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WHO launches first biosimilar medicine to treat Breast Cancer

Posted on : 24 Dec 2019

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  • World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified its first biosimilar medicine – trastuzumab – in a move that could make this expensive, life-saving treatment more affordable and available to women globally.
  • Trastuzumab – a monoclonal antibody – was included in the WHO Essential Medicines List in 2015 as an essential treatment for about 20% of breast cancers. It has shown high efficacy in curing early stage breast cancer and in some cases more advanced forms of the disease.
  • The medicine, supplied by Samsung Bioepis NL B.V. (Netherlands), was assessed by WHO and found comparable to the originator product in terms of efficacy, safety and quality. That means it is eligible for procurement by United Nations agencies and for national tenders.
  • A few biosimilars of trastuzumab have come to market in the last five years, but none had been prequalified by WHO before. WHO prequalification gives countries the assurance that they are purchasing quality health products.
  • WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that by 2040 the number of diagnosed breast cancers will reach 3.1 million, with the greatest increase in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The availability of biosimilars has decreased prices, making even innovative treatments more affordable and hopefully available to more people.

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    Right Ans : It is first biosimilar medicine to treat Breast Cancer

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