Farmasian tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Korpelainen, Anna-Sofia (2019)
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurodegenerative disease in which both upper and lower motor neurons degenerate gradually. The disease leads to a total paralysis of almost all skeletal muscles and to death within 3-5 years after onset. At the moment there are two disease modifying medicines available, riluzole and edaravone. Neither is able to cure the disease or even to stop or remarkably slow down its progression. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been proposed as one of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying ALS. During ER stress misfolded of unfolded proteins accumulate in ER lumen. As a defense mechanism, the cell launches unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR response aims to reduce the protein load in ER and restore cell’s normal functions. If the damage is already beyond repair, UPR signal cascades lead to programmed cell death. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) regulate the growth of nervous tissue and participate in repairing processed. Many of the known NTFs have first seemed promising in the preclinical models of ALS but however failed in clinical trials. Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) differs drastically both in structure and function from conventional NTFs. CDNF has seen to relieve ER stress and improve motor behavior in the animal models of Parkinsons’s disease. Recently CDNF entered clinical trials in Parkinson’s patients. Since ER stress is believed to be present not only in ALS but also in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, it might have an effect in treating ALS patients. SOD1-G93A is a well-established animal model of ALS in which the animals show typical motor impairments comparable to human disease. In this study we used a novel mouse line obtained from crossing traditional SOD1-G93A model and CDNF knock out models. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of endogenic CDNF loss in survival, onset of symptoms, motor behavioral and spinal motor neuron degeneration in the new line. ER-stress and autophagy marker levels were studied with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (CNDF) and western blotting techniques. Spinal motor neuron loss was examined by anti-choline acetyltransferase antibody (ChAT) stainings. SOD1-G93A CDNF knock out animals were observed to have more severe motor impairments in the early stages of the disease compared to the traditional SOD1-G93A mice. In addition, the degeneration of spinal motor neurons appeared to be more severe in the new line. There were no statistically significant differences in ER stress between the genotypes although a trend of increased ER stress was observed. Endogenous CDNF loss had no effect on the healthy animals. The results suggest that CNDF is a potential treatment for ALS and it might have only little side effect since it does not seen to affect healthy tissue. In medical usage, CDNF might be most effective when administered immediately after disease onset. However, this might be difficult because of the challenges in ALS diagnosis.
  • Virtanen, Heikki (2019)
    Literature review part: The enteric nervous system (ENS) often called “the second brain” is considered its own autonomic division that can independently regulate gut function. The ENS is derived from enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCCs), which colonize the gut during development. Development of the ENS is a complex process, and many signalling pathways are required for a properly functioning ENS, especially GDNF/Gfrα1/RET signalling controlling survival, proliferation, migration, and differentiation of ENCCs. Hirschsprung’s disease (HSCR) is the most common congenital disease affecting gut motility. The prevalence of HSCR is 1:5000, and it is characterized by a complete lack of enteric neurons (aganglionosis) in the distal colon. Due to impaired intestinal motility, infants may have constipation, emesis, abdominal pain or distention, and, in some cases, diarrhea. The most life-threatening symptom is HSCR-associated enterocolitis (HAEC), which occurs in 30-50% of patients. Routine treatment for HSCR is a surgical operation called “pull through” in which the aganglionic segment is removed, and the remaining ganglionic segment is joined to the anus. However, the risk of developing HAEC after successful surgery still exists. Histopathological analysis has revealed that HAEC is accompanied by various changes in the gut epithelium, especially in mucin-producing goblet cells. These changes include hyperplasia of the goblet cells, altered mucin profile, retention of mucin, damaged and disorganized epithelium structure, inflammation, and bacterial adherence to the epithelium. However, a lack of suitable postnatal HSCR mouse models has partially hindered the progress of pinpointing the exact order of these events. A RET mutation found in half of the patients is overwhelmingly the biggest risk factor for HSCR. RET is a receptor on the cell membrane that mediates the effects in GDNF/Gfrα1/RET signaling pathway. of Knock-out mice of Gdnf, Gfra1 and Ret all have intestinal aganglionosis, resembling HSCR. However, to date, no mouse models of HSCR affecting GDNF/Gfrα1/RET signalling exist because pups are born without kidneys and die soon after birth. Experimental part: The GFRa1 hypomorphic mouse line (Gfra1hypo/hypo) created by Dr. Jaan-Olle Andressoo is the first successful model that survives past birth while manipulating GDNF-Gfrα1-RET signalling and phenocopying HSCR. These mice have 70-80% reduction in the expression of Gfrα1 in the developing gut and kidneys, which is sufficient to cause aganglionosis in the distal colon, yet not enough to impair kidney development.These mice are sacrificed between P7-P25 because of welfare problems yet giving a time window for analysis of the development of HAEC. Histological analyses revealed that Gfra1hypo/hypo mice had goblet cell hyperplasia and a shift away from acidic mucin production in the distal colon. Goblet cell hyperplasia was first observed at P10, but the shift in mucin profile already appeared at P5. It is not known what causes goblet cells to change their mucin production, but it seems to be the earliest histopathological change in HAEC preceding goblet cell hyperplasia. qPCR-analysis revealed that Muc2, the main secreted mucin that protects epithelium from invading pathogens, was upregulated at both P5 and P10. mRNA levels of Tnfa were also upregulated at P10. The aforementioned changes were not observed in the duodenum where the ENS had developed normally despite the reduction in Gfra1 expression. This indicates that the changes observed in the colon are likely due to the lack of ENS innervation, rather than a direct effect from GDNF-GFRa1-RET signalling itself. Finally, serum analysis indicated that systemic inflammation did not occur from P10-P16, although one Gfra1hypo/hypo animal had high levels of IL6 and TNFa at P14-16. This indicates that inflammation is not an early stage event and it is preceded by goblet cells related changes. In conclusion, changes in goblet cells seems to be earliest histopathological findings preceeding HAEC.
  • Kurvonen, Sampo (2019)
    Background: Antibiotics have been an important factor in the dramatic decrease of infectious disease mortality in the 20th century. Bacteria are, however, very quick to respond to the changes in their environment because of their short life cycle. Thus, the development of bacterial antibiotic resistance is a natural consequence of the enormous worldwide antibiotic use. The current situation is that the antibiotic resistance develops faster than novel antibiotics are found and developed. The three main resistance strategies of Gram-negative bacteria are: modification of the antibiotic target, enzymatic inactivation of the antibiotic and reduce of the intracellular antibiotic concentration by changing the function of the outer membrane. To decrease the intracellular antibiotic concentration bacteria use efflux pumps. RND efflux pumps are the most important family of efflux pumps regarding antibiotic resistance. They typically function as a part of a tripartite structure which allows the efflux of antibiotics to the extracellular space. Multiple inhibitors have been developed against RND efflux pumps but none has reached the clinical stage of drug development. Objectives: Development and testing of a 384-well plate method for screening efflux pump inhibitors for E. coli (BAA1161) efflux pumps. Methods: Verifying that the absorbance measurement is a sensitive enough method for measuring the bacterial (BAA1161) growth in 384-well plate format. The antibiotic chosen to be used in the screening method was piperacillin and the positive control efflux pump inhibitor was mefloquine. Determining the minimum growth inhibiting concentrations (MICs) of piperacillin and mefloquine in 96- and 384-well plate formats. Verification of the synergistic growth inhibitory effect of piperacillin and mefloquine with the checkerboard method in 96- and 384-well plate formats. Determining the positional effect in the 384-well plate. Determining the highest DMSO concentration without effect on the growth of BAA1161. Screening of 126 natural compounds in 384-well plates to test the developed method. Screening was done in quadruplicates based on the growth inhibitory effect of the natural compounds when combined with piperacillin. Dose-response assay was conducted in combination with and without piperacillin with the compounds that showed growth inhibiting effect during screening. Results and discussion: Absorbance measurement was sensitive enough method for measuring the BAA1161 growth in the 384-well plate. MIC value of mefloquine was 32 μg/ml in both plate formats. Piperacillin’s MIC was 1024 μg/ml in the 96-well plate, but on the 384-well plate there was variation in the MIC. Piperacillin and mefloquine showed synergistic effect on BAA1161 growth inhibition in the checkerboard assays. Positional effect could not be determined, because of the variation in the BAA1161 growth inhibition effect of piperacillin. This randomly occurring phenomenon were piperacillin inhibited BAA1161 growth completely or almost completely with sub-MIC concentration was encountered in all the subsequent experiments in the 384-well plate format. One possible reason for this phenomenon, occuring in the 384-well plate format, could be piperacillin heteroresistance of BAA1161 strain. In the test screen, four compounds, which all included gallic acid ester, showed promising activity. These compounds were: epigallocatechin gallate, hamamelitannin, isopropyl gallate and octyl gallate. In the dose-response assay, hamamelitannin’s and octyl gallate’s effect was synergistic with piperacillin. Conclusions: The developed method can be used to screen novel efflux pump inhibitors. However, to increase the reliability of the method, further optimization is required to eliminate the variability in the effect of piperacillin. When plate format of a method is changed, factors which could affect the functionality of the method in the new format should be carefully assessed. Based on the test screed, gallic acid esters are interesting compounds which combined effects with antibiotics should be studied in the future experiments.
  • Punakivi, Kirsi (2019)
    Background: Increased use of internet and the development of different services has led into the growth of ecommerce in many sectors and the e-commerce is growing significantly faster than any other economy in Finland. In addition, the search for different health related information from the internet has increased and this has led into increase in the online purchase of different health-related products and services in many countries. However, buying pharmaceutical preparations from online pharmacies have not become that popular in Finland yet, although there are many online pharmacy service providers. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the acceptance and use of online pharmacies for the purchase of OTC medicines in Finland. The main purpose was to find out what are drivers and barriers to purchase OTC medicines online and which factors could facilitate to overcome customer perceived barriers. Furthermore, the aim was to investigate online purchase behavior for OTC medicines and to find out the insights required to develop more seamless online customer journey. Materials and methods: This study was conducted as a combination of quantitative survey and qualitative interview. The target group of this study was 18-74 year-old-people people living at the Greater Helsinki area. The data was collected with an online survey (n=262), one focus group discussion (n=5) and one-to-one interview (n=3). Participants of both, the survey and interviews, were chosen by convenience sampling and they were drawn in via social media, mainly by Facebook, and in co-operation with a few pharmacies in the Greater Helsinki area. Quantitative analysis of the survey was made by using version 25.0 of the IBM Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) and data obtained with open questions and interviews was analyzed by using conventional deductive content analysis. Results: In this study sample, 16.5% had bought medicines online. Independence from time and place, convenience and time saving were the biggest drivers to shop OTC medicines online, while the biggest barriers were lack of additional value, high price of the delivery and long delivery time as well as acute nature of the problem. Cheaper price of the medicine was the strongest factor that could get people consider buying online. Results indicate that the online customer journey follows the general five-stage decision making model while purchasing unfamiliar medicines. Internet turned out to be the primary source of information before purchase and self-diagnosis could be made with the help of information found from the internet. In addition, perceptions and experiences of important others and advice from the pharmacist were considered as useful help in the process of self-diagnosis. Conclusions: Barriers for the purchase are currently dominating over the motivating factors. However, the majority of non-buyers would be ready to consider buying medicines online. Currently,the online pharmacies cannot compete with the prices of the medicines, due to the local regulations, but pricing of other pharmacy products is free and those could work as incentive to buy also medicines online. In addition, it would be worth for online pharmacies to invest on developing quick and reasonably priced delivery services and properly working, real-time chat service as well as further increase awareness of their services. Pharmaceutical companies can improve the customer journey by providing the information consumers usually search at their product pages and already at Google-view as a quick links. In addition, online pharmacies should be provided with sufficient information about their products.
  • Nikkilä, Tiiu (2019)
    Background: Continuous manufacturing has been utilized for decades in many industries since it has many advantages compared to batch manufacturing. Therefore the interest towards continuous processes has arisen also in the pharmaceutical industry. Also, the strict regulations characteristic of pharma industry have started to change more favorable towards continuous manufacturing when the possibilities of continuous processes to produce higher quality products faster and more efficiently, have been proven in many researches. Objectives: Objectives of this thesis were to clarify the effect of the material characteristics on material flowability from continuous feeders and to study how different toolings, like feeding screws, affect the feeding of materials with different characteristics. Based on these results, a possibility to model the feeding results of a material based on only some measured material characteristics was also under investigation. The aim was to develop a clear and systematic procedure which would simplify the determination of the most suitable equipment when starting to feed a new material. Methods: The similarity of flowability of various pharmaceutical powders from continuous feeders was studied. First material characteristics affecting material flowability from a feeder based on literature was determined from 26 pharmaceutical powders. Following this, six materials were chosen to be studied with gravimetric powder feeders using different kinds of research frames. The six materials formed three material pairs, in which two materials had clear similarities in the flowability characteristics. The reason for this was that the flowability from feeders with similar materials could be compared. The feeding of materials was determined investigating the feed rate capacity and accuracy of feed rate of material. Also, the effect of feeder screws and the speed of the screws on the feeding capability of a material was investigated. A model to predict the feeding result based on material characteristics was built using PLSand MLR-methods. Results: The prediction of material feeding was not possible with PLS- and MLR-modeling methods. The feeding of similar materials was wound to be alike. Poor flow characteristics correlated with poor feeding results. PCA- and cluster analysis were found suitable to define the similarity of materials. Conclusions: The success of feeding of pharmaceutical powders is clearly affected by the material flowability properties. The feeding screws and screw speed affect the feeding accuracy, too. The prediction of feeding results of specific material, would need much more data to produce valid and trustworthy models. However, it seems highly possible to be able to build a model with more materials.
  • Takala, Anna; Takala, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Medication safety is a part of patient safety, and means safety related to the use of medicines. Medication safety covers the principles and functions of individuals and organizations working in the healthcare sector to ensure the safety of drug treatment and to protects patient from harm. Medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient or consumer. Medication errors are the leading cause of preventable harm in health care across the world. Therefore, improving medication safety is important from the point of view of the promotion of patient safety. The aim of this study was to gather information about serious medication errors at national level by utilizing data from Valvira to learn from the cases outside the organizations where they occurred. The data of this study consisted of complaints and regulatory statements resolved by Valvira in 2013–2017, in which drug treatment were identified as a main reason and where inappropriateness was found (n=58). Cases were classified with predetermined classification system, and inductive content analysis was used to identify the causes and contributing factors of medication errors. The theoretical framework of the study was the Human Error Theory by James Reason (1990). According its systems-based approach, this study focused on the processes and circumstances of organizations. Of the included 58 cases, medication errors caused patient’s death in 21 cases (36 %) and severe harm in nine cases (16 %). A majority (n=53; 91%) of the errors were estimated to be either definitely or possibly preventable. Most of the patients were older adults (mean age 74 years). The most commonly related drugs in medication errors were enoxaparin (n=7; 6%) and oxycodone (n=7; 6%). The most common therapeutic group causing medication errors was antithrombotic agents (n=17; 13%). Most errors occurred in hospital settings (n=29; 45%) and in elderly care units. Doctors (n=37; 50%) were most often involved in the errors. Most of the medication errors occurred in the prescribing (n=38; 47%), administrating (n=15; 19%) and monitoring stage (n=14; 17%), drug-related problems being most often connected to the drug selection. In severe and fatal cases, there are often several drug related problems identified at different stages of the patient’s drug treatment process. The data of Valvira provide valuable information about medication errors at national level. Qualitative analysis is important especially for learning purposes as it provides better understanding of the causes and contributing factors of medication errors, as well as the complexity of drug treatment processes. Based on this study, it seems that healthcare organizations involved in severe medication error cases have taken into consideration the importance of process development and focused on identifying latent risks in organizational conditions and processes rather than blaming individuals.
  • Tikkanen, Alli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 2B1 (OATP2B1) is an influx transporter expressed widely throughout the body in tissues such as intestine, liver, brain, placenta and skeletal muscle. Since many clinically used drugs are transported by OATP2B1, changes in the function of the transporter due to genetic polymorphism could lead to altered pharmacokinetics or -dynamics of OATP2B1 substrate drugs. The aim of this Master’s thesis was to create and optimize a cellular uptake assay to study the function of OATP2B1. Furthermore, the aim was to study the effects of six naturally occurring nonsynonymous single nucleotide variants on OATP2B1 transport function in vitro. With site-directed mutagenesis, single nucleotide changes were introduced into the gene coding for OATP2B1. OATP2B1 variants were expressed in human derived HEK293 cell line using baculovirus expression system. A cellular uptake assay with estrone-3-sulfate and a fluorescent probe 4’, 5’-dibromofluorescein (DBF) as substrates was set up and optimized. With the assay, OATP2B1-mediated uptake of variants was compared to the transport activity of OATP2B1 wild type. Amino acid changes Ser486Phe and Cys520Ser impaired OATP2B1 transport function severely. In addition, variant Thr318Ile transported DBF and estrone-3-sulfate less efficiently compared to OATP2B1 wild type, but Arg312Gln, Thr392Ile and Ser532Arg transport function was not affected. A method to study OATP2B1 function was created successfully. According to the results, single amino acid changes in OATP2B1 can impair OATP2B1 function. The results and method can be utilized to understand findings from pharmacogenetic studies in vivo, and to predict consequences of especially rare variants, which can be difficult to detect in small sample populations in clinical studies. However, further studies on the expression level and cellular localization of OATP2B1 variants are needed to fully characterize the impact of the variants studied.
  • Oravainen, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Pitkäaikaiset lääkitykset lisääntyvät jatkuvasti kroonisten sairauksien yleistymisen ja väestön ikääntymisen takia. Pitkäaikaisten sairauksien hoidossa lääkehoitojen rationaalisuus korostuu, mutta WHO:n arvioiden mukaan noin puolet lääkkeiden määräämisestä, toimittamisesta, käytöstä ja myynnistä toteutuu epärationaalisesti. Tämä lisää terveydenhuollon ammattilaisten vastuuta lääkehoidon vaikutusten seurannassa ja potilaan hoitoon sitouttamisessa myös reseptien uudistamisessa. Reseptien uudistamiskäytäntöjä on kuitenkin tutkittu vähän niin Suomessa kuin maailmanlaajuisesti. Tässä pro gradu -tutkielmassa tavoitteena oli tarkastella nykyisiä reseptien uudistamiskäytäntöjä perusterveydenhuollon lääkäreiden näkökulmasta. Tavoitteena oli tarkastella, minkälaiset tekijät vaikuttavat lääkäreiden työskentelyyn sekä potilaan lääkehoidon kokonaisuuden hallintaan ja turvallisuuteen reseptien uudistamistilanteissa. Lisäksi kartoitettiin lääkäreiden ratkaisuehdotuksia uudistamiskäytäntöjen kehittämiseksi. Tutkimus toteutettiin laadullisena monimenetelmätutkimuksena Kirkkonummen terveysasemilla. Tutkimuksessa hyödynnettiin triangulaatiota ja tutkimusaineisto koostui reseptien uudistamistilanteiden varjostuksesta sekä kahdesta lääkäreiden ryhmähaastattelusta. Tutkimukseen osallistui yhteensä 12 lääkäriä, joista viisi osallistui varjostusvaiheeseen ja seitsemän haastatteluvaiheeseen. Aineisto kerättiin huhti-heinäkuun 2019 aikana. Tutkimuksen teoreettisena viitekehyksenä oli inhimillisen erehdyksen teoriaan perustuva järjestelmälähtöinen näkökulma. Tutkimusaineisto analysoitiin aineistolähtöisellä sisällönanalyysillä, jossa varjostus- ja haastatteluaineistosta etsittiin tutkimuksen tavoitteiden kannalta merkittäviä ilmaisuja. Reseptien uudistaminen on lääkäreiden näkökulmasta monivaiheinen prosessi. Prosessiin vaikuttivat useat uudistamista helpottavat ja vaikeuttavat järjestelmä-, potilas- ja lääkelähtöiset tekijät. Lääkärit tunnistivat ongelmakohtia uudistamisprosessin jokaisesta vaiheesta. Lääkäreiden mukaan etenkin tietojärjestelmien epäkäytännölliset ominaisuudet ja tekniset ongelmat sekä ajantasaisten lääkitystietojen ja tiedonkulun puutteet olivat uudistamistilanteissa ongelmallisia ja tekivät uudistamisesta työlästä. Myös kiire ja uudistettavien reseptien suuri määrä vaikeuttivat uudistamista. Ongelmien takia lääkärit kokivat, ettei lääkehoitojen seurantaa voitu tehdä uudistamistilanteessa perusteellisesti. Lääkäreiden ehdotuksia uudistamisprosessin kehittämiseen olivat uudistamisen parempi koordinointi, tietojärjestelmien ja tiedonvälityksen kehittäminen sekä moniammatillisen yhteistyön ja potilaan osallistamisen lisääminen.
  • Kanerva, Meeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women world wide and it´s incidence is constantly growing. The prognosis of local breast cancer is good and patients with metastatic breast cancer are living longer with their disease. The growing survivorship and population of chronically ill breast cancer patients has made quality of life one of the most important aspects in the treatment of breast cancer. Cytotoxic chemotherapy is a widely used treatment for breast cancer. Chemotherapy can cause difficult adverse events, which can affect the patients’ quality of life. Chemotherapy can also relieve the symptoms caused by cancer when used to treat metastatic breast cancer. The aim of this systematic review was to collect the currently available literature about breast cancer patients´ health related quality of life as comprehensively as possible, review the quality of the literature and the effects of chemotherapy on breast cancer patients ‘quality of life. The literature search produced 1666 references. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 107 full text articles were accepted to the final systematic review, 53 of which reported the health related quality of life during adjuvant treatment of breast cancer, and 51 of which reported it during the treatment of advanced or metastatic breast cancer. In addition 3 previous systematic reviews were found. The basic information about the articles was extracted into a table. Articles were heterogeneous regarding their study settings, used quality of life instruments and reporting. Most studies used a disease specific quality of life instrument. The collected literature gave a strong indication of quality of life worsening during adjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer. This observation was further supported by the previous systematic reviews. Most of the studies reporting the quality of life during chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer, reported less than clinically important changes during the treatment. A few studies reported clinically important worsening or improvement in quality of life. 11 studies, which were made during or after 21: st century, which reported numerical data from quality of life, which reported predominantly quality of life and which had sample size of at least 100 patients in baseline, were accepted to further assessment of quality of the studies and closer observation. The quality of the studies was assessed with STROBE and CONSORT checklists. The quality of studies was heterogeneous as the studies fulfilled 44.8 % to 86.1 % of the scoring items. Only one randomized controlled trial reported quality of life as their primary end point. The data from these studies supported the previous observation of quality of life worsening during adjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer. The effect of chemotherapy during metastatic breast cancer on quality of life was not unambiguous. Both clinically meaningful worsening and improvement of quality of life was reported. Breast cancer patients´ health related quality of life has been assessed in multiple publications, but the existing literature is heterogeneous and it´s use in decision making and economic evaluation is not easily feasible. Breast cancer patients´ health related quality of life worsened during adjuvant chemotherapy. Significant improvement in breast cancer patients´ health related quality of life was not observed during chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer.
  • Karasti, Eveliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The amount of informal caregiving has increased in Finland, with a growing emphasis on the older adults. Although the medication management process in informal caregiving has been studied and is known to have significant risks, research data focusing on the older adults is still limited. The aim of this study was to describe the medication management process of informal carers and care recipients of at least 65 years old. The aim was to identify medication errors and medication risks in the medication management process and to find out how the caregivers manage them. In addition, the study examined the informal carers and care recipients own development proposals to improve medication management process. A total of 21 volunteer informal carers and care recipients living in the Helsinki metropolitan area were recruited to this study. The study was conducted as a qualitative interview survey in the homes of the participants. The interviews were a combination of semi-structured interviews and narrative approach. The material to this study was collected during spring and summer 2018. The study was analysed with abductive content analysis combining both deductive and inductive approach. The aim was to find repetitive elements by encoding and grouping expressions. The results of this study were compared with previous theory and the results were supplemented with a picture of the medication management process and a fishbone diagram was drawn from the risk factors and contributing factors of the medication management process. The families had medication errors in all stages of the medication management process. The most frequent medication errors were found in counselling, medication administration and in medication treatment monitoring. As a contributing factor, the healthcare professionals’ haste and the responsibility of the caregiver recurred in the background of the medication errors. Family caregivers and care recipients wish to have more counselling, more monitoring of medication and better interaction with health care. Carers often felt left alone to take care of another person's medications and felt they lack support from healthcare. By facilitating access to a physician, improving the availability of a physician, increasing the amount of counseling and support provided by healthcare, including pharmacies, could the safety of medication management at home be improved.
  • Äijö, Nelli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    As the population becomes older and the amount of multimorbid patients increases, also health care spending increases. New care models are needed where patients’ needs are taken into consideration by providing preventive and patient-centred care. In Finland and internationally, new ways to treat elderly, chronically ill patients have been developed. One of the new models is the health and care plan model. This longitudinal, randomised, controlled trial studied the health and care plan model’s impact on healthcare costs, patients’ physical functioning and patients’ quality of life. The aim of the study was to study the cost-effectiveness of the health and care plan model compared to standard care practice. The goal of this study was to study if rational pharmacotherapy and self-management support can prevent the decline in physical functioning, the decline in quality of life and the increase in health service use and costs among elderly population. This study was conducted between 2014-2018 as a multi-disciplinary cooperation between Tornio health station, University of Helsinki Faculty of Pharmacy and Alatornio pharmacy. The patients in this study were over 75-year old, multimorbid, community dwelling, polypharmacy patients. The patients in the intervention group received an interview based clinical medication review and were formed a medication plan. Furthermore, the patients in the intervention group were planned a health and care plan that was combined with the medication plan into a comprehensive self-management plan in a multi-disciplinary meeting. A case manager was appointed for the patients in the intervention group and the case manager could be contacted by the patients in the intervention group at any point of the study if there arose a non-acute concern with the patient’s health. The patients in the control group were conducted a prescription review based on the information available in the electronic health records system and continued receiving the standard care practice. Cost and effectiveness data were gathered from the patients over the period of two years. The effectiveness data were gathered at Tornio health station where the intervention and control group’s quality of life was measured with the SF-36 generic quality of life measure and physical functioning was measured with Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). The quality of life data gathered with SF-36 were transformed into one preference based single index score SF-6D to calculate the quality of life and quality adjusted life years (QALY). Data about the use of health services were extracted from the electronic health records system and transformed into costs by using the national reference costs. At the beginning of the study, the intervention and control group were statistically significantly similar. During the two-year follow-up, no statistically or clinically significant differences were observed between the intervention and control group in their quality of life, in their physical functioning or in the costs of used health services. However, in the intervention group, the cost of used health services was on average 2 406 euros smaller than those of the control group’s during the two-year follow-up. The health and care plan model was cost-effective compared to standard care practice. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was -64 504 € per one QALY. Based on this study, it is recommended to support the self-management and physical functioning of the elderly with an intervention like health and care plan model to decrease the health care spending. The results of this study can be applied to Finnish healthcare system to decrease the health care spending of multimorbid, community dwelling and polypharmacy elderly patients. The use of real-world evidence increases the reliability of this study.
  • Vainio, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Despite the long history of skin grafting, there is no standardized treatment for split-thickness skin graft donor sites. These sites cause a notable amount of pain and discomfort to the patients and open wounds also introduce a risk for infection. There is an extensive need for treatment options promoting the fastest and least painful healing possible while also being infection-free. The treatment of split-thickness skin graft donor sites is constantly studied and there is plenty of scientific literature available about this topic. In the theory section of this Master’s thesis, the structure of skin, the process of wound healing, skin grafting surgery and wound care products for split-thickness skin graft donor sites are briefly introduced. Additionally, the method of systematic review is described. In the empirical section, a systematic review is performed to compare animal- and non-animal-based wound care products in the treatment of split skin graft donor sites. The methodological quality of the included studies is reviewed. In the literature search, 3552 references were found. In this systematic review a total of 23 articles were included comprising of 21 comparative clinical studies and two previous literature reviews. Of the original studies, 20 reviewed healing, 14 infection and 17 pain of the split-thickness skin graft donor sites. Based on the results of the systematic review, animal-based wound care products might promote healing and reduce pain experienced by patients in the treatment of split-thickness skin graft donor sites when compared with non-animal-based wound care products. The results concerning infection were inconsistent. Generally, the reporting of the clinical original studies was not comprehensive enough for proper evaluation of methodological quality. Some defects, mostly in the blinding of the patients, study personnel and the assessors of outcomes, were also found. Moreover, the studies were heterogeneous in their definitions and measuring of the reported outcomes. Therefore, there is substantial uncertainty in the results of this systematic review. The systematic and transparent way of conducting the literature search, the review of the methodological quality and the reporting of the outcomes can be considered as a strength of this thesis. The main weakness is, that only one person performed the critical steps of this study, which might increase the risk of bias and reduce the repeatability of the study.
  • Aalto, Aura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Lääkevalmisteiden, lääkinnällisten laitteiden ja sekä lääke- että laiteosan sisältävien yhdistelmätuotteiden tulee täyttää niiden tehoa, turvallisuutta ja laatua koskevat viranomaisvaatimukset ennen markkinoille tuloa. Lääkkeiden ja lääkinnällisten laitteiden rekisteröinnissä dokumentaatiovaatimukset, hakemusprosessit ja viranomaiskäsittelyt eroavat kuitenkin toisistaan. Yhdistelmätuotteet rekisteröidään Euroopan unionissa joko lääkkeinä tai laitteina niiden pääasiallisen vaikutusmekanismin mukaan. Laitteiden rekisteröintivaatimukset ovat parhaillaan muuttumassa, sillä uusi lääkinnällisiä laitteita koskeva EU-asetus 2017/745 (medical device regulation, MDR) astui voimaan toukokuussa 2017. Asetuksen käyttöönoton siirtymäkausi jatkuu toukokuulle 2020 asti. Tutkimus on jatkoa aiemmin toteutetulle tutkimukselle (Nuolimo 2016), jossa selvitettiin lääkkeiden ja lääkinnällisten laitteiden rekisteröintiprosessien eroja. Aiemman tutkimuksen johtopäätöksenä oli, että rekisteröintiprosessien erot vaikuttaisivat suosivan valmisteen rekisteröintiä CE-merkityksi terveydenhuollon laitteeksi sellaisissa rajatapaustilanteissa, joissa rekisteröinti sekä lääkevalmisteeksi että lääkinnälliseksi laitteeksi on mahdollista. Nyt tehdyn teemahaastattelututkimuksen tavoitteena oli edelleen selvittää rekisteröintiprosessien eroja ja erityisesti tuotteen rekisteröintistatuksen valintaan vaikuttavia taustatekijöitä. Tutkimuksen tavoitteina oli myös selvittää, miten yhdistelmätuotteiden rekisteröintiprosessi eroaa muista rekisteröintiprosesseista ja miten uusi lääkinnällisiä laitteita koskeva EU-asetus 2017/745 vaikuttaa käytännön rekisteröintityöhön. Teemahaastattelututkimuksessa haastateltiin kunkin tuoteryhmän rekisteröinnin asiantuntijoita. Tutkimukseen osallistui yhteensä kahdeksan haastateltavaa. Rekisteröinnin asiantuntijoiden työtoimenkuvat vaihtelivat niin paljon, että rekisteröintiprosessien vertailu oli vaikeaa. Tutkimuksessa todettiin, että laitteiden rekisteröintiprosessi on kevyempi kuin lääkkeiden. Rekisteröintistatus valitaan tuotekohtaisesti. Yhdistelmätuotteiden rekisteröintiprosessin raskaus riippuu siitä, onko tuote rekisteröity lääkkeeksi vai laitteeksi. Yhdistelmätuotteiden kohdalla rajanvetotilanteet, joissa täytyy määritellä, rekisteröidäänkö tuote lääkkeeksi vai laitteeksi, voivat olla haastavia. Uuden laiteasetuksen implementointi oli tutkimusajankohtana vielä kesken, mutta asetus oli jo lisännyt työtä laite- ja yhdistelmätuotteiden rekisteröinnissä ja tuonut uusia liiketoimintamahdollisuuksia CRO-yrityksille.
  • Häggman, Verner (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    If pharmaceutical quality system fails it causes a hazard to the patient’s health, but also to the manufacturer’s economy. For this reason, the manufacturer’s must make sure their products comply with the quality requirements placed by authorities. To ensure the compliance, the authorities perform inspections at the manufacturing sites. If the site does not comply with the quality requirements, the authority will take necessary measures. The goal of this study was to find what type of quality issues FDA and the authorities within EU have observed while inspecting manufacturing facilities, which of these issues are most common, in which countries the sites companies with issues have been located. The results were assessed from European pharmaceutical company’s point of view. The data for the study was collected from Eudra GMDP database and from FDA Warning letters sent by FDA headquarters from years 2015-2017. Qualitative analysis of content was chosen as the method of analysis. The collected data was classified into main classes and subclasses based on reoccurring topics. The classes were transferred in tables to compare how which of the classes were most common. Most often the facilities with quality issues were located in China and India. The authorities also perform a lot of quality inspections in these countries, but that alone doesn’t explain the large number of quality issues in these countries. The number of sites with quality issues per inspection was also high. Both the authorities of EU countries and FDA had mainly observed similar issues. Often quality issues were related to data integrity. Other common themes were quality management system, cleaning of equipment and facilities and analytical methods. There were also some differences in the observed issues. E.g. FDA had rarely observed issues related to personnel while EU authorities had observed such issues frequently. Quality issues which had led to measures by authorities were often related to larger problems with the quality management or to very basic quality actions. If company doesn’t have well-functioning quality organization, the quality system is often inadequate also in other ways. By comparing their own activities with the issues observed at other companies, it is easier for a company to improve their quality and avoid major quality issuer before they occur.
  • Niklander, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tämä tutkimus esittelee kasviperäisen nanokuituselluloosageelin (NFC; GrowDex®) arvioinnin kolmiulotteisena (3U) kasvualustana rintarauhasen organogeneesin mallinnuksessa. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli tarkastella kasviperäisen in vitro -kasvualustan aiheuttamaa solusäätelyä normaalissa rinnan epiteelisessä solulinjassa, sekä selvittää rintakudoksen rauhasrakenteiden muodostumisessa keskeisen laminiini 111:n (LAM-111) alustaan lisäyksen mahdollisia hyötyjä viljelmille. Tutkimuksen koeasetelmassa NFC:n edustamaa kasvunicheä arvioitiin ihmisen rintaepiteelistä eristetyllä -ja tyvikalvon proteiinikontaktien säätelystä riippuvaisella MCF 10A -solulinjalla. Solujen in vitro -nicheympäristön verrokkimallinnuksessa hyödynnettiin epiteelisen tyvikalvon proteiiniympäristöä edustavaa proteiinirikasta Matrigel™-2,5U -kasvualustaa. Viljelynäytteistä tehtiin aikapisteittäin valomikroskooppiset -sekä histologiset hematoksyliini – eosiini (HE) morfologian arvioinnit, e-kadheriinin, vimentiinin ja β4-integriinin ilmentymisten vasta-aine-analyysit, sekä β1-integriinin, Bim:in ja c-FLIP-L:n lähetti-RNA:n reaaliaikaiset PCR-analyysit. Analyyseissä keskityttiin tarkastelemaan rintarauhasen epiteelin polarisoitumistapahtumassa havaittavaa solusäätelyä ja proteiinien eritystä. LAM-111 -lisän havaittiin edistävän jossain määrin NFC:ssä viljeltyjen sferoidien sisämorfologian kavitaatiota sekä eritettyjen proteiinien sijoittumista sferoidien pintarakenteisiin Matrigel™ -kontrollinäytteiden kaltaisesti, muttei yksinään riittänyt tuottamaan Matrigel™ :ssä havaittua viljelmien homogeenisyyttä. Kokeen natiivi-NFC:ssä sekä NFC-LAM-111:ssä kasvaneiden sferoidien PCR-analyyseissä havaittiin polarisaatiotapahtumaan liittyvää solusäätelyä viljelmien loppuvaiheessa päivänä 28, poiketen vastaavan PCR profiilin ilmentymisestä Matrigel™ -viljelmissä jo päivänä kolme. NFC -olosuhteissa havaittiin myös Matrigel™ -viljelmistä puuttuvia ylimääräisiä, epiteelisiltä vaikuttavia rakenteita, joiden määritteleminen vaatii lisätutkimuksia. NFC todettiin jäykkyyden suhteen helposti muokattavaksi sekä mahdollisesti kudoksen mekaanisia ominaisuuksia jäljitteleväksi 3U -kasvualustaksi. Tämän kokeen tuloksien perusteella muokkaamatonta NFC:tä voidaan ehdottaa soveltuvaksi kasvualustaksi tyvikalvoproteiinien säätelystä riippumattomille solutyypeille, sekä solutyypeille, jotka kykenevät tuottamaan ympärilleen oman kudostyypillisen proteiiniympäristönsä. Kliiniseen käyttöön kelpuuttavat standardivaatimukset täyttävä NFC vaikuttaa lupaavalta materiaalilta räätälöitävien in vitro -kasvualustojen suunnitteluun, ja mahdollisesti tarjoaa rakenneosiltaan tarkasti määritellyn, xenovapaan, ja proteiinilisillä eri solutyypeille säädettävän in vitro -kasvunichen tulevaisuuden jatkotutkimuksiin.
  • Viljakainen, Tuulikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, in which dopamine neurons are dying in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. This causes motor symptoms such as slowness of movement, tremor, and rigidity. In addition, various non-motor symptoms appear. All currently used medicines are symptomatic, and there are no disease modifying treatment available for Parkinson’s disease. Several neurotrophic factors have shown promise in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. One of those is cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) which has been studied in different animal models, including rodents and non-human primates. CDNF is a secreted protein but it is also localized in endoplasmic reticulum (ER). CDNF has two domains, N-terminal and C-terminal, which may have distinct functions. CDNF can be retained in the ER by the ER retention sequence at the end of the C-terminal domain. The C-terminal domain also has an evolutionarily conserved disulfide bridge which is crucial for the biological activity of CDNF. The exact mechanism of CDNF is still unknown. However, it has been shown that CDNF affects the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the presence of ER stress. Neurotrophic factors do not penetrate blood-brain barrier (BBB), for this reason, they need to be injected directly to the brain. Penetration of the BBB is also a problem in the treatment of many other diseases. Various methods for enhancing the BBB penetration of drugs have been studied. For example, permeability of the BBB can be temporarily increased by focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles. Another possibility is the use of a carrier molecule, which can be transported through BBB via specific transport mechanisms. Furthermore, molecule modification offers many applications to achieve enhanced BBB penetration. In view of peripheral administration, a next generation variant of CDNF (ngCDNF) has been developed. The efficacy of this novel variant after intrastriatal injection is equal to that of CDNF in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of Parkinson’s disease. Systemic administration could also enable treatment of non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of subcutaneously injected ngCDNF on rotation behaviour, and nigrostriatal TH-positive cells in rats with 6-OHDA lesions. 6-OHDA was injected unilaterally to three different sites in the striatum. Two weeks later, the lesion size was estimated, via amphetamine- induced rotation test. ngCDNF, at two dose levels, was injected twice weekly for three weeks. Amphetamine-induced rotation test was assessed every other week, until week 12. At the end, optical density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was measured from sections of the striatum, and TH positive cells in the substantia nigra were counted. In addition, the effect of ngCDNF on anxiety and depression like behaviour, learning, and locomotor activity were studied at three different levels in naïve mice. Behaviour was analyzed by open field test, forced swim test, and fear conditioning test. The ngCDNF did not seem to have clear effect on rats’ behaviour or TH positive cells and fibers compared to the control group, but positive tendency was found in the group with lower dose. The reduced efficacy of ngCDNF,via subcutaneous administration, is likely due to rapid metabolism and insufficient entry of the active form to the brain. In naïve mice, ngCDNF did not reduce anxiety-like behaviour and did not affect locomotor activity after subcutaneous injections. This result supports previous findings, which suggest that the effects of CDNF are specific to the toxin treated cells and CDNF has no effect in naïve animals.
  • Skullbacka, Simone (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Many drugs are associated with the risk of QT prolongation and torsades de pointes (TdP). The risk increases with other risks factors for QT prolongation. Recognizing risk factors and QT prolonging drugs is critical in the management of this drug-related problem. The aim of this master’s thesis was to study the prevalence of use of QT prolonging drugs in older adults receiving home care. Additionally, the aim was to study concomitant use of QT prolonging drugs as well as clinically significant QT prolonging drug-drug interactions in the participants. The secondary objective was to study the most commonly used QT prolonging in the participants. The material used in this master’s thesis originated from a randomized controlled trial in City of Lohja, Finland, which enhanced a coordination in medication risk management for older home care clients. The analysis of the baseline data collected in fall 2015 was only deepened regarding QT prolonging drugs. The participants (n=188) were older adults (≥65 years) receiving regular home care from City of Lohja, randomized into an intervention group (n=101) and a control group (n=87). The majority of the participants were women (69%). The mean age of the participants was 83 years. Data on the participants’ drugs were collected from their medication lists. Clinically significant drug-drug interactions were identified using the SFINX database. The QTDrugs Lists of CredibleMeds were used for identifying drugs associated with QT prolongation and TdP. On average, the participants (n=188) used 2.3 drugs (SD 1.3, median 2.0) associated with QT prolongation and TdP. Of the participants, 36% (n=67) used drugs with known risk of TdP (QTDrugs List 1). The most commonly used drugs with known risk of TdP were donepezil and citalopram. The prevalence of QTDrugs List 2 drugs (possible risk of TdP) was 36% (n=67). Most of the participants (n=156, 83%) used drugs which under certain circumstances are associated with TdP (QTDrugs List 3). One fifth (21%) of the participants used concomitantly 2-3 drugs associated with QT prolongation and TdP. QT prolonging drugdrug interactions (SFINX-D interactions) were found in 3% of the participants. The drugs involved in the drug-drug interactions were donepezil, (es)citalopram and haloperidol. The prevalence of use of clinically relevant QT prolonging drugs (QTDrugs Lists 1-2) was higher in this study compared with the prevalence in outpatients in previous studies. Concomitant use of QT prolonging drugs is common in outpatients. Health care professionals need to be educated on the risks of QT prolongation, TdP and the risks of using QT prolonging drugs concomitantly. Risk assessment tools considering patient-specific risk factors could be more widely used, as they may reduce modifiable risk factors, and actual events of QT prolongation and TdP may be avoided. There is a need for systematic procedures for assessing and managing the risks of QT prolongation and TdP in the Finnish health care system.
  • Andersson, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea, is the authority responsible for supervision pharmacies in Finland. Recently, there has been more interest in Fimea to improve its supervision of community pharmacies. For this purpose, a questionnaire was made. Prior to the making of the questionnaire, community pharmacy supervision practices were studied in Nordic countries and in the UK. Additionally, faults found in Finnish community pharmacy inspections in 2016–2018 were classified by analysing anonymized fault lists (n=94) separated from inspection reports. When the most common faults were identified, it was possible to include questions concerning these faults into the questionnaire. A modified version of the Delphi method was used when developing the questionnaire. Comments on the applicability of the questions were given by a panel of experts consisting of inspectors of Fimea. The questionnaire was subsequently edited in accordance with the given comments. Separate versions of the questionnaire form were developed for community pharmacies and for their subsidiary pharmacies. At the end of this study, the questionnaire was sent to seven pharmacies and to three subsidiary pharmacies. After the results of the questionnaire were collected, Fimea gave feedback on the questionnaire. 25 categories were created by classifying faults found from pharmacy inspections. The most common inspection observations were faults in storage condition monitoring (97 % of pharmacies), narcotics (86 %), implementation of code of conduct (86 %), product errors (86 %) and preparation of medicines ready for use (81 %). The questionnaire begins by asking basic information about the pharmacy. Following questions concern the personnel and their further adequacy training. The questionnaire also includes several questions on the code of conduct within the pharmacy. Additionally, there are questions about storage condition monitoring, dispensary and accounting of narcotics. At the end of the questionnaire, there are also a few questions about the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS) which will be implemented by February 2019. Support from the inspectors of Fimea and studying regulations of pharmacies helped identify appropriate questions for the questionnaire. However, the perspective of the questionnaire may be limited due to the questionnaire being developed based up on faults found from inspections. The faults observed from inspections across pharmacies in Finland have been very similar with some of them being also alarmingly common. Because many of the observed faults are relatively easy to fix, simple corrective measures could be implemented to improve the situation across several pharmacies. Thus, usage of questionnaires, such as one made in this study, could be considered a feasible way of improving supervision of pharmacies.
  • Neuvonen, Janina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Flowability of powders is in critical role when manufacturing the most popular dosage forms, tablets and capsules, of pharmaceutical industry. Re-formulation is expensive and time-consuming, so it is important to determine powder flow properties at the initial stage of drug development prior to tabletting and encapsulation processes. There are many different methods, like shear cell, flow through an orifice and bulk and tapped density, to examine powder flowability. Despite the methods, the most reliable means of examining powder flowability is often empirical. In early stages of drug development, it would be good to have faster, more reliable and cheaper methods to examine powder flowability. FT4 Powder Rheometer is a relatively new flowability characterization technique. The aim of this study is to find out whether the library created using the FT4 Powder Rheometer methods makes it possible to characterize the rheological properties of solids in the early stages of drug development. In addition, the aim is to investigate whether FT4 Powder Rheometer methods can predict the success of masses in tableting and encapsulation processes. The information gained from the research can be used in the future, for example, in continuous processes, because flowability plays an important role, especially in the supply of raw materials to the process, which is the most important division of continuous processes. To the library were selected for particle size and shape 15 different types of material. These materials were subjected to five different FT4 Powder Rheometer basic test methods. In addition, the particle size and shape of the materials and the flow through an orifice and the bulk and tapped density were determined to support the results of the powder rheometer. The principal component analysis was used to process the results. As the tablet and capsule masses examined, the masses of a previous study were utilized. Those masses were tableted and encapsulated in that previous study. These tablet and capsule masses contain a variable amount of cohesive drug substance. FT4 Powder Rheometer methods provide more complex information about materials and their behaviour than conventional flowability test methods. From the powder rheometer parameters pressure drop, compressibility and specific energy distinguish the cohesive and the non-cohesive materials, because the cohesive materials with these parameters obtain clearly higher values than non-cohesive materials. Additionally, the cohesion of FT4 Powder Rheometer shear cell test mainly distinguishes highly cohesive materials from other materials. The flow rate index makes it possible to separate the materials to which the change in flow rate particularly affects. Fluidizing materials, due to the air flow, are distinguished by the aeration test. Avicel PH-102 could be used as a rough limit value for well and poorly flowing materials in the created library (excluding the aeration and shear cell test). Stability index -, flow rate index -, specific energy -, pressure drop -, and compressibility-results of the FT4 Powder Rheometer correlated to the proportional proportion of the cohesive drug in the mixture. These parameters could possibly be used to distinguish mixtures containing the cohesive material. Additionally, specific energy, compressibility, pressure drop, basic flowability energy, stability index and flow rate index correlated with the weight variation of the tablets. With these parameters one could possibly assess the tabletability of the mixtures. A much larger library is needed to evaluate and predict the rheological properties of new materials. FT4 Powder Rheometer can possibly be used to predict the tableting success of tablet and capsule masses. This would be interesting to look more extensively, for example as part of a library. Additionally, it would be good to investigate whether the results of powder rheometer correlate to continuous production.
  • Mäkinen, Arttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This is a systematic review aiming to investigate the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of biosimilars in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Biosimilar drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases include biosimilar infliximab and biosimilar adalimumab. Biosimilar infliximab has been authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2013 and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Biosimilar adalimumab has been authorized by EMA and FDA in 2017 and, at the time the literary search for this systematic review was conducted no studies were found regarding the treatment of adalimumab biosimilar for inflammatory bowel diseases. To acquire marketing authorization for biosimilars, it must be proven that the biosimilar is biologically similar to the original medicinal product. Bioequivalence is demonstrated through physicochemical trials and clinical trials. However, clinical trials do not have to be performed with all of the indications for which the original medical product is registered. After proving bioequivalence with one or more indication it is possible to extrapolate the biosimilar to be used in all of the original medical products indications. This has raised the question of whether biosimilars are really comparable to the originator in indications for which no clinical trials have been conducted. This systematic review was implemented using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews and Interventions. Systematic literature searches were made in Cochrane, Medline (Ovid®), PubMed and Scopus databases on 12.05.2017. 14 observational studies, one systematic review and a randomized clinical trial that met the inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review. The quality of the publications was evaluated using the STROBE-, NOS- and CONSORT-checklists and information regarding the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of biosimilars was extracted. CD-patients receiving tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors for the first time, the clinical response was achieved in 50.0 % to 97.2 % of patients depending on patient population and the duration of treatment. Similarly, for UC-patients, the clinical response was achieved in 62.2 % to 100.0 %. The clinical remission was achieved among 28.9 % to 84.4 % of CD-patients and among 28.9 % to 84.4 % of UC-patients, depending on patient population and treatment follow-up. After the switch from original infliximab to biosimilar, the proportion of patients in clinical remission during follow-up ranged from 62.3 % to 100.0 % in CD-patients and from 45.5 % to 100.0 % in UC-patients. Clinical remission was sustained throughout the whole follow-up in 70 % to 100 % of CD-patients and 66.7 % to 92.0 % of UC-patients. The incidence of adverse events leading to the discontinuation of drug treatment was between 0.0 % and 25.0 %, and the incidence of all adverse events ranged from 0.0 % to 93.6 % in CD- and UC-patients. Biosimilar infliximab seems to be comparable to the original product regarding the efficacy, effectiveness and safety. This result is supported by the systematic literature review published earlier. Conducting a meta-analysis of the information contained in this systematic literature review could have led to a more final decision considering efficacy, effectiveness and safety of biosimilar-infliximab in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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