While there are numerous concerns regarding the use of biosimilar products, the preliminary experience with biosimilar infliximab has been favorable.
Full text link: European Experience of Infliximab Biosimilars for IBD (Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
- Biosimilars are leading to cost reductions of 30-40%. In addition, to lowering the cost of infliximab, this is leading to reductions in costs for adalimumab and vedolizumab which are competing as 1st line therapies.
- In the authors study of the first 210 patients, they did not find any difference in terms of immunogenicity or side effects. In addition, efficacy was comparable to the ‘originator’ drug.
My take: Infliximab and adalimumab have been blockbuster medications for pharmaceutical companies, in part because they provide a great clinical benefit. However, if biosimilars are truly biosimilar, the cost reductions will result in their widespread adoption.
Related blog post: Biosimilars -Position Statement GutsandGrowth This position statement: “Treatment of a child with sustained remission on a specific medication should not be switched to a biosimilar until clinical trials in IBD are available to support the safety and efficacy of such a change”