Korean J Gastroenterol.  2019 Dec;74(6):333-340. 10.4166/kjg.2019.74.6.333.

Knowledge and Viewpoints on Biosimilar Monoclonal Antibodies among Asian Physicians: Comparison with European Physicians

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. diksmc.park@samsung.com
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 3Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Current knowledge and viewpoints regarding biosimilars among physicians in Asia are unknown, even though these were investigated by European Crohn's and Colitis Organization (ECCO) members in 2013 and 2015. Thus, this study conducted a multinational survey to assess the awareness of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies among Asian physicians.
A 17-question multiple-choice anonymous web survey was conducted with the logistic support of the Asian Organization of Crohn's and Colitis (AOCC). Randomly selected AOCC members were invited by e-mail to participate between February 24, 2017 and March 26, 2017.
In total, 151 physicians from eight Asian countries responded to the survey. Most of the participants were gastroenterologists (96.6%), and 77.5% had cared for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) patients for more than 5 years. The majority of the respondents (66.2%) were aware that a biosimilar is similar but not equivalent to the originator. The majority of respondents (77.5%) considered cost saving to be the main advantage of biosimilars, but a high percentage of respondents (38.4%) were concerned about a different immunogenicity from that of the originator (92.4% and 27.1% respectively in ECCO 2015). Only 19.2% considered that the originator and biosimilars were interchangeable, and only 6.0% felt very confident in the use of biosimilars (44.4% and 28.8% respectively in ECCO 2015).
Asian gastroenterologists in 2017 are generally well informed about biosimilars. On the other hand, compared to the ECCO members surveyed in 2015, Asian gastroenterologists had more concerns and less confidence about the use of biosimilars in clinical practice. Thus, IBD-specific data on the comparison of the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity in Asian patients are needed.


Biosimilar pharmaceuticals; Infliximab; Asia

MeSH Terms

Anonyms and Pseudonyms
Antibodies, Monoclonal*
Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
Cost Savings
Electronic Mail
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Surveys and Questionnaires
Antibodies, Monoclonal
Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals


  • Fig. 1 Issues or advantages of monoclonal antibodies biosimilars. ECCO, European Crohn's and Colitis Organization; AOCC, Asian Organization of Crohn's and Colitis.

  • Fig. 2 Interchangeability and automatic substitution. ECCO, European Crohn's and Colitis Organization; AOCC, Asian Organization of Crohn's and Colitis; INN, International Nonproprietary Names.

  • Fig. 3 Responses hypothesizing that a randomized controlled trial showed no difference between a biosimilar and the originator in CD. ECCO, European Crohn's and Colitis Organization; AOCC, Asian Organization of Crohn's and Colitis; CD, Crohn's disease; UC, ulcerative colitis.

  • Fig. 4 Confidence in using biosimilars in clinical practice. ECCO, European Crohn's and Colitis Organization; AOCC, Asian Organization of Crohn's and Colitis.

  • Fig. 5 Confidence according to access to biosimilars.


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