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Originally published on HIT Consultant

by Dr. Minh Huynh, Medical Director at NantHealth

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Eliminating healthcare inequities requires addressing the underlying social and economic factors that contribute to these disparities and ensuring that all individuals have equal access to high-quality healthcare services, regardless of their background or circumstances. This includes addressing issues such as poverty, discrimination, and unequal distribution of resources, as well as promoting health equity as a core value of healthcare systems.

In recent years, there’s been a shift in the healthcare community seeking unique ways to combat inequities in care. Advanced technology platforms and new forms of treatment are creating new ways to reduce healthcare disparities while creating greater uniformity. One solution many are turning to is the use of biosimilars.

Biosimilars: A Critical Solution

The use of biosimilars can play a crucial role in promoting health equity by increasing access to much-needed medications and reducing healthcare costs for underserved populations. Biosimilars are highly similar versions of biological drugs that have already been approved by regulatory agencies offering the same clinical benefits as their reference drugs but at a lower cost.

The availability of lower-cost biosimilars can be particularly important for low-income and underserved populations who may have limited access to healthcare services and may struggle to afford expensive biologic drugs.

In addition, the use of biosimilars can help reduce healthcare costs, which can help to promote health equity by making healthcare more affordable and accessible for all patients. This can be important for patients who rely on costly biologic drugs to manage chronic conditions, as the cost savings from biosimilars can help to reduce the financial burden and improve overall health outcomes.

A key component of the adoption of biosimilars is increasing healthcare provider awareness of where these drugs fit in treatment protocols. For example, according to the National Library of Medicine, only 26% of oncologists can explain what a biosimilar is, whereas only 21% of healthcare prescribers, in general, are familiar with the concept of biosimilars. These significant gaps in awareness and understanding of biosimilars make it even more critical to ensure that healthcare teams are given the proper knowledge to implement biosimilar products into their daily treatment prescription routines.

Utilizing Technology to Set the Standard

Evidence-based treatment validation technology can play a critical role in promoting the use of biosimilars in healthcare by providing clinicians with the information they need to make informed treatment decisions. Specifically, evidence-based treatment validation technology can help to:

  • Increase understanding of the safety and efficacy of biosimilars: Evidence-based treatment validation technology can educate clinicians and healthcare providers with timely information on the safety and efficacy of biosimilars, citing reputable sources and real-world evidence, which can help to build trust in these treatments and increase their adoption.
  • Identify appropriate patients for biosimilar treatments: Treatment validation technology can help to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from biosimilar treatments based on factors such as disease severity, treatment history, and clinical comorbidities. This can help to ensure that biosimilars are used appropriately and effectively.
  • Support clinical decision-making: Evidence-based technology can provide clinicians and healthcare providers with up-to-date information on the latest research and clinical guidelines related to biosimilars, which can support their decision-making and help to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate and effective treatments.

Overall, evidence-based treatment validation technology can play a crucial role in promoting the use of biosimilars in healthcare by giving clinicians and healthcare providers the information and tools they need to make informed treatment decisions, improve patient outcomes, and promote health equity.

More Accessible Healthcare for All

Achieving health equity is a complex and multifaceted process that requires addressing inconsistencies and eliminating the underlying social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities. One crucial aspect of promoting health equity is ensuring access to high-quality healthcare services, education, and resources. This requires healthcare organizations to provide personalized care based on the best available evidence, ensuring consistency of care for all patients.

By promoting evidence-based practice, healthcare organizations can improve the consistency and quality of care across their networks, ultimately leading to better outcomes for all patients. This approach can help to ensure that all patients, regardless of their background or circumstances, receive the highest quality of care. By providing personalized care that is based on the best available evidence, healthcare organizations can serve all patients with a vision of optimizing outcomes.

About Dr. Minh Huynh

Dr. Minh Huynh is a hematologist-oncologist and medical director at NantHealth. He received his medical degree as well as residency at the University of Arizona and then completed a combined hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of California in 2004.

Dr. Huynh has worked for Kaiser Permanente, the country’s largest HMO as a partner physician while also serving in leadership roles, including on the multi-disciplinary breast and lung conferences, co-chair for the institutional tumor boards, and co-chair for the blood utilization committee. In 2011, Dr. Huynh joined Los Alamitos Hematology and Oncology as a staff physician, where he also served as chair of the hospital’s cancer committee and on the medical executive committee.

Prompted by a desire to positively affect healthcare on a more global scale, Dr. Huynh joined Anthem (now Elevance), where he co-chaired the Cancer Pathways Program, developed the oncologic imaging and radiopharmaceutical guidelines, and helped build the Cancer Concierge Program.

Besides his current role as medical director at Nanthealth, he volunteers at Harbor-UCLA where he teaches hematology and oncology fellows and serves the indigent and disadvantaged population.

Connect with Dr. Minh Huynh on LinkedIn.

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