Biologicals are established treatment options that require pharmacovigilance adapted to their specific nature, including the need for products to be identifiable up to the specific manufacturer in reports of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). This study explored the identifiability of 10 classes of similar and related biologicals up to the level of the manufacturer in ADR reports received from European clinical practice between 2011 and June 2016. Adequate identifiers were reported for 96.7% of the suspected biologicals, ranging from 89.5% for filgrastim to 99.8% for interferon beta‐1a. The product identifiability remained consistently high over time for classes of biologicals for which biosimilars were introduced during follow‐up. The overall batch traceability was, however, only ensured for 20.5% of the suspected biologicals and needs further improvement. This study shows that the European system for identification of ADRs to the level of the manufacturer is robust, allowing for the timely detection of potential product‐specific safety signals for biologicals.

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Journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Vermeer, N.S., Giezen, T.J, Zastavnik, S., Wolff-Holz, E., & Hidalgo-Simon, A. (2019). Identifiability of Biologicals in Adverse Drug Reaction Reports Received From European Clinical Practice. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 105(4), 962–969. doi:10.1002/cpt.1310