Revised: 2 May 2014


A biosimilar medicine is a new biological product that is similar to another biological medicine that has been granted consent to be marketed in New Zealand (the biological reference).

The active substance of a biosimilar is similar, but not identical, to that of the biological reference. Approval is based on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies as well as comparative clinical studies.

Data provided to support the application should show no important difference between biosimilar medicines and the biological reference in terms of efficacy and safety. However, consensus regarding the interchangeability of a biosimilar medicine and its reference product has yet to be reached. The prescribing physician should therefore take this into account when considering interchanging the medicines.

For more information see:

European guidance

FDA guidance

Medsafe Position on Biosimilars (Adobe PDF document 126KB)

Data sheets for biosimilars should include the following information: