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Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) today expressed support for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association's (GPhA) filing of an official Citizen Petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detailing the industry's position on biosimilar naming. The petition recommends that all biosimilars approved by the agency share the same international non-proprietary name (INN) as the biologic products to which they refer. A drug's INN serves to clearly and universally state a medicine's main substance or ingredient – for example, Lipitor®'s INN, or generic name, is Atorvastatin Calcium. An approved biosimilar product will have been shown through rigorous physicochemical and functional testing to be as close to the reference product as the reference product is to itself from lot to lot, but with more affordability. It is therefore critical for the medical community to continue identifying biosimilars using the same naming convention as other medicines available to patients today.
Heather Bresch commented: "Mylan's mission to set new standards in health care and expand access to high quality medicine is aligned with GPhA's Citizen Petition to FDA regarding the use of consistent international standards for biosimilar naming. The use of consistent INN's ensures patient safety as it helps to protect patients from concerns such as double dosing where two highly similar products may be prescribed."
The importance of consistent INN's to patient safety can be illustrated by the more than 150 different biologic INN's with over 250 different trade names on the market today. If each biologic were to have just four biosimilar options (i.e. fewer competitors than the average path taken by small molecules which have an average of 12 manufacturers per product), 600 new INN's would be added to the biologic products presently available. The unnecessary increase in unique product names could serve to confuse health care providers, put patient outcomes at risk and only further delay access to these critical products.