Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Pharmacy Administration

First Advisor

Anastasia Jenkins

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The emergence of biologics over the past the past few decades has led to a new interest in the production of a classification of drugs known as biosimilars. The vast complexity involved in the discovery, development, and manufacturing of biologics and biosimilars has made researching the knowledge and perceptions among healthcare professionals important. Healthcare professionals must have an understanding of biologics, as these medications are used for some of the most rare diseases. Healthcare professionals in northern Mississippi were surveyed on their knowledge of and attitudes towards biologics and biosimilars in order to gain insight on the current status of the incorporation of these new therapies within the clinical healthcare setting. The knowledge questions included in the survey were input to assess the practitioners' knowledge of biosimilars' approval process, availability, and similarity to their reference product. The attitude statements were used to assess the practitioner's confidence and comfort levels in using these drug products. Overall, the pharmacists correctly answered the highest proportion of the knowledge-based questions correct with 72.9% correct. Physicians followed with 61.5% correct and nurses with 60.2% correct. Overall, physicians were found to be most confident with the prescribing and the safety and efficacy of biologics. Physicians were also found to have high confidence in the pharmacists' involvement in the administration of biologics. All three groups of practitioners currently feel more confident with the selection and administration of traditional drug treatments over biologics. However, each group of practitioners seems optimistic for a smooth transition of biologic therapy and the need for a standard protocol for doctors and pharmacists on the biosimilar substitution process. These findings of this study are important in order to address the changes and improvements that need to be made regarding these wide range of products and their transition into the healthcare system. Further education regarding biologics and biosimilar medications must be provided to practitioners in order to ensure that all patients that may benefit from these medications have access to them.

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