Summary of evidence and Expert Committee recommendations
The Committee noted the correspondence from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) requesting recognition of biosimilars of rituximab and trastuzumab on the EML. The Committee agreed that quality-assured biosimilars of these monoclonal antibodies represent an opportunity for expanding affordable access to cancer medicines for health systems. To help improve access, the Committee recommended the current listing for intravenous rituximab on the EML should indicate that quality-assured biosimilars of rituximab should also be considered as essential medicines. In addition, the Expert Committee recommended that WHO continue to facilitate access to biosimilars through the Prequalification programme and WHO Collaborative Registration Procedure.