Preparing to use ranibizumab biosimilar

Denise Rosembert, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer's Clinical Fellow, Specialist Pharmacy ServicePublished Last updated See all updates

Ranibizumab biosimilar needs planning. Ensure you are familiar with the area and then develop an implementation plan working with the multidisciplinary team.

Ensuring familiarity with the area

Pharmacy teams and individuals planning on using ranibizumab biosimlar should prepare themselves carefully. Make sure you are aware of, and where necessary read and understand, the following.

National commissioning policy

Ensure you are familiar with:

Product characteristics

Ensure you are familiar with:

SPS resources on biosimilar background

SPS has produced materials to help understand the background to biological and biosimilar medicines in general as well as the evidence for ranibizumab biosimilar specifically.

Understanding biological and biosimilar medicines

Biosimilar medicines are a type of biological medicine that offer the NHS opportunities to deliver better value for certain conditions

The licence and supporting evidence for ranibizumab biosimilar

A licensed ranibizumab biosimilar is available from Teva: Ongavia. Learn about the licensed indications and supporting evidence.

SPS resources on pipeline medicines

Be aware too of information on pipeline ranibizumab biosimilars. Detail is available from:

Developing an implementation plan

Developing an implementation plan will require working collaboratively across integrated care systems. This will include work within pharmacy as well as with prescribing clinicians, particularly ophthalmologists; specialist nurses; business managers; finance and contracting teams; and the pharmaceutical industry.

Identify patients receiving anti-VEGF treatments

This work will need to be undertaken with clinicians. You should have an understanding of the number of patients in your organisation receiving anti-VEGF treatments currently.

Identify patients eligible for ranibizumab biosimilar

Continue working with clinicians to identify the opportunity for biosimilar introduction. Identify those patients suitable for ranibizumab biosimilar as well as those for whom it would be clinically inappropriate to use the biosimilar. Refer to the National Commissioning recommendations for medical retinal vacular medicines (publication pending till July 2022).

Ensure use in local pathway of care

To ensure ranibizumab biosimilar can be used within a local care pathway, you should consider a number of factors across the integrated care system; these include:

Staff familiarity

Service capacity

  • Extra capacity may be required to support additional work associated with the introduction so that existing services are not adversely affected.
  • Consider the potential effects for:
    • The number of clinic visits, injections, and the ability to deliver services safely.
    • The operational impact for clinicians and specialist nurses on other related clinical services.
    • Pharmacy capacity to dispense and store the drug.
    • Pharmacy capacity to support, implement and monitor the introduction.

Processes

  • Establish processes with clinicians and patients to ensure shared decision making is possible supported by written materials, information sessions, education and patient alert cards.
  • Ensuring staff responsible for implementation prepare themselves using any necessary materials, including information sessions and education.
  • Ensure a workable process for actions to take when reviewing, switching and discontinuing anti-VEGF treatments in line with the national commissioning recommendations for medical retinal vascular medicines.

Savings

  • Ensure savings can be used effectively to offset costs, incentivise change and improve patient care.

Change history

  1. National Commissioning Policy link added
  1. Published