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Have you been asked to switch from a biologic medicine to a new biosimilar?

Are you a healthcare professional who will be talking with patients about switching?

When a doctor, nurse, specialist or pharmacist wants to talk to a patient about switching their medication, it’s natural that patients will have many questions. When it comes to switching from a biologic medicine to a biosimilar, those questions may include: what’s the difference between a biologic and biosimilar? Will the biosimilar work in the same way? What if I choose not to switch? What if I want to switch back? Providing patients with information and resources to address these questions will help them to make an informed decision.

For the past few years, the Patients Association has been working with patients, clinicians and pharmacists to create a set of resources to help patients decide what’s best for them when considering switching to a biosimilar medicine and to help healthcare professionals to better engage patients in the decision-making process. Together, we can all make sure that patients have the information they need to make the best and most informed decision.

Switching to biosimilars leaflet for patients

Switching to biosimilars leaflet for healthcare professionals

The resources were updated in April 2021.

Please let us know how useful you found the information in the leaflet and video

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Our team might be able to help - details of how to contact them below.

Further information

Understanding patient needs in switching from biologic to biosimilar medicines - Patients Association 2018 report

If you want to find out more about biosimilars, you might find the following list of organisations useful.
(The Patients Association is not responsible for information on external sites)

Information on biosimilars

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)
Information on biosimilars
Helpline: 0800 298 7650
Email: [email protected]

Crohns and Colitis UK
Information on biosimilar drugs for adalimumab (Humira)
Helpline: 0300 222 5700
Email: [email protected]

Birdshot Uveitis Society (BUS)
Biosimilars to Humira (adalimumab) - Q&As
Email: [email protected]

The Psoriasis Association
Tel: 01604 251 620
Email: [email protected]

Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK statement on biosimilar insulin
Tel: 0345 123 2399
Email: [email protected]

JDRF (Type 1 diabetes charity) information on biosimilar insulin (published September 2015)
Tel: 020 7713 2030
Email: [email protected]

National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)
NASS biosimilar information
Helpline: 020 8741 1515

Lymphoma Action
Information on biosimilar lymphoma medication
Helpline: 0808 808 5555
Email: [email protected]

Contact the Patients Association helpline

The Patients Association offers a free national helpline providing specialist information and advice to help patients make sense of their health and social care.  

Patients can talk directly to trained advisers in strict confidence about any concerns, questions or general experiences they have regarding the NHS and social care systems.  

The helpline is open from 9.30 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and calls outside these times are returned as soon as possible during opening hours. 

If you would like to contact the helpline, please call free on 0800 345 7115, or visit the Patients Association helpline page on our website for more information. 

The Switching to Biosimilars project has been developed by the Patients Association, supported through sponsorship from Novo Nordisk and Amgen, and an unrestricted educational grant from Sanofi. No companies had any influence on the development of the materials but they have commented on the final versions.  

 First published December 2019; last updated August 2022; next review planned April 2027.