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A Big Win For Arthritis Foundation Advocates: FDA Proposal Would Require Unique Names for Biosimilars

Today, we celebrate our tremendous Advocates and a fantastic victory! The FDA has issued proposed guidance to require unique names for biosimilar products that have submitted applications to the FDA.

The Arthritis Foundation and our team of 125,000 advocates have advocated for distinguishable names to ensure patient safety is given the highest priority. Unlike generic medications, biosimilars are not necessarily exact copies of brand name biologics. The change will lessen confusion among prescribers, allow for transparency in notification and drug substitution, strengthen patient adverse reaction tracking and make data collection easier.

In the last year alone, the Arthritis Foundation and our advocates have engaged in this issue by writing multiple letters to the FDA, meeting directly with the FDA, joining a patient-focused biosimilars coalition, hosting a webinar on biosimilars for people with arthritis, and mobilizing Congress through in-person meetings, speaking at a Hill briefing on the issue, and co-hosting another briefing on the issue.

Adopting a unique naming policy will help ensure patient safety by allowing patients to understand fully what they are taking and ensure a more thorough record.  Today, we celebrate, knowing that these efforts have paid off in what is a tremendous victory for the arthritis community!

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