Dr Sonia Oskouei Describes the Need for More Biosimilar Education for Ophthalmologists

Although the United States is looking to be one of the first countries to market an ophthalmology biosimilar, more education is needed to convince ophthalmologists of the safety and efficacy of biosimilars, said Sonia T. Oskouei, PharmD, BCMAS, DPLA, vice president of biosimilars. at Cardinal Health, at Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit.


According to Cardinal Health’s 2022 report, only 40% of ophthalmologists reported being “very familiar” with biosimilars. What needs to be included in educational material aimed at these specialists specifically to increase that statistic?

Ophthalmology market research and our own market research at Cardinal Health has really revealed hesitation when it comes to biosimilars at this stage. In fact, when we looked at trends earlier when the first biosimilar was approved and launched in oncology, believe it or not, there were similar perceptions associated biosimilars amongst oncologists. Now, you see the strong adoption that we have an oncology today.

As we’re entering these new therapeutic areas, with ophthalmology being the latest, we are seeing this hesitation and lack of familiarity, where there’s a desire for more information and the need for more information to help build clinical confidence in these agents. So, any type of data or evidence in understanding the FDA approval pathway and the associated scientific rigor from the FDA is key to helping build clinical confidence.

I will say in ophthalmology it’s almost trickier because unlike oncology and rheumatology, there is not this robust international experience in ophthalmology with ophthalmology biosimilars. In fact, the US is going to be one of the first countries to have an ophthalmology biosimilar available. So, we are positioned to be a source of generating real-world evidence and data to support future confidence in these agents as more products are anticipated to come in the retina space.


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