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Relationship between innovative and biosimilar trastuzumab used in the treatment of breast cancer: cross-sectional study of financial impact

Journal of Cancer Prevention & Current Research
Tamara Marques Previ, Andre Fellipe Freitas Rodrigues


The irrational use of drugs today is relevant, so pharmacoeconomics is an analytical tool that links economic factors related to drug use and clinical outcomes. Biological medicines are products derived from genetically modified living cell sources. In this context, the biosimilar drug presents similarity in structure, function, efficacy and safety when compared to the original product. Currently several biosimilars are being developed for the treatment of breast cancer, a fact that directly impacts patient survival. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, being HER2 positive one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, and its treatment is based on the use of cytotoxic drugs associated with targeted therapy using the monoclonal antibody transtuzumab. There are positive future prospects related to biosimilars with impacts on survival and potential increase of patients with access to innovative treatments. The research aimed to analyze the financial impact of the use of the biosimilar trastuzumab and the increase in the number of patients with access to therapies, through a retrospective documentary cross-sectional study, developed on a representative sample of cost values of the drugs Herceptin and Zedora, for the reference protocol trastuzumab. The results obtained in the descriptive statistics through the analysis of variance were not significant; however, a percentage of savings of 27.89% was obtained for the biosimilar Zedora when compared to Herceptin. Monoclonal antibodies are responsible for 35% of the expenses in oncology. The introduction of biosimilars can contribute to the financial and budgetary sustainability of the health system. Based on the results obtained, it is possible to affirm that for every three patients treated with Herceptin, it is possible to treat four patients using Zedora.


pharmacoeconomics, biological medications, biosimilar medications, indication extrapolation, interchangeability