On October 23rd, ASBM Advisory Board Chair, Philip Schneider, MS, FASHP and Steering Committee Member Andrew Spiegel, Executive Director of the Global Colon Cancer Association, presented before the 67th Consultation on International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for Pharmaceutical Substances in Geneva, Switzerland. This was the eleventh INN Consultation at which ASBM has presented since 2013. 

While the discussions in the Open Session at which ASBM presented are bound by confidentiality agreements pending the publication of an Executive Summary by the INN Programme, the Executive Summary for the 66th INN Consultation may be viewed here.

The day prior to the INN Consultation, ASBM released a whitepaper on an April 11 meeting on Harmonization of Biologic Nomenclature sponsored by ASBM and Scientific American. That meeting and the resulting whitepaper revealed strong stakeholder support both for distinct naming and for international harmonization of naming systems; participants agreed that WHO involvement was necessary to advance these aims. The meeting included representatives from FDA, Health Canada, physician societies, pharmacists, and patient advocacy organizations. A follow-up meeting was held on July 12th at which support for distinct naming, international harmonization of nomenclature, and WHO leadership were reiterated.

ASBM surveys have consistently shown strong support for distinct naming among physicians worldwide. Sixty-six percent of U.S. physicians surveyed support distinct naming for all biologics including biosimilars, as do 68% of Canadian and 79% of Australian physicians. Among physicians in Latin America, 94% believe the WHO’s BQ proposal would be helpful in ensuring their patients receive the correct medicine.