Biosimilars in Malaysia: Regulatory Framework, Approved Products, and Adverse Effects

Noraisyah Mohd Sani, Zoriah Aziz, Adeeba Kamarulzaman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Biosimilars are a cost-effective alternative to original biologic medicines that allow patients access to biologic therapies for various chronic diseases. Our paper aims to provide an overview of biosimilars in Malaysia with emphasis on the comparison of Malaysian guidelines with guidelines from well-established regulatory agencies, a review of biosimilars’ market approval and their reported adverse effects (AEs) as well as clinical trials conducted in Malaysia. Methods: We searched the official websites of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) Malaysia and three other well-established agencies, online databases of Medline® and EMBASE for guidelines on legislation and regulations of biosimilars. Meanwhile, we extracted the reports of AEs involving biosimilars in Malaysia from the NPRA database and for global AEs from the World Health Organisation VigyLize database. The Website by the U.S. National Library of Medicines was the source for data on clinical trials. Results: Malaysia followed the principles of the European Medicines Agency biosimilar regulations and issued their guideline in 2008. Since then, NPRA has approved 24 biosimilar products and recorded 499 AE reports, of which 43 (8.6%) were serious. NPRA has also approved ten Phase III clinical trials in Malaysia with four trials still ongoing. Conclusion: Malaysia follows a stringent regulatory pathway for the approval of biosimilars enacted by well-established regulatory agencies to maintain the quality, efficacy and safety of biosimilars. Introducing biosimilars to the Malaysian market would improve patients’ accessibility to biologic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-502
Number of pages13
JournalTherapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse effects
  • Biologic therapies
  • Clinical trials
  • Interchangeability
  • Regulatory guidelines
  • Substitutions

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