Biological medicines (including biosimilars) come from living organisms (cells) that have been modified using biotechnology.
A biosimilar medicine is developed to be highly similar to an existing biological medicine. They have a great importance in the treatment of severe diseases such as cancers.
Biosimilars have significant potential to create competition in the biological medicine market and provide patients with broader affordable access to state of the art medicines.
The Q&A document was first published in 2013 as part of the consensus information paper, 'What you need to know about biosimilar medicinal products'. The main goal of this revision is to provide patients with information in language that is easy to understand, despite the complexity of the concept.
The next stakeholder workshop organised by the Commission on the uptake of biosimilar medicines in the EU is on 5 May 2017.