Biologics, large molecules produced in a living system, are one of the fastest growing segments of drug spending. In theory, biosimilars, highly similar copies of existing biologics, could lower costs. The first biosimilar to launch in the US, filgrastim-sndz, had strong adoption after just 2 years, capturing 40% of the market and lowering unit prices by 25%.1,2 However, unlike filgrastim, which treats acute indications, the second and third biosimilars to launch in the US addressed chronic conditions. Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) and Renflexis (infliximab-abda), biosimilars to Remicade (infliximab), were approved for induction and maintenance of remission in lifelong conditions such as Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Following starter doses at 0, 2, and 6 weeks, infliximab is administered once every 8 weeks. Although biosimilar versions are as safe and effective as the biologic, patients and physicians may be more reluctant to switch from a working biologic regimen in a chronic setting than an acute one.3-5 We examined the uptake of Inflectra and Renflexis and investigated physician switching behavior between biologic and biosimilar versions.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Chen AJ, Gascue L, Ribero R, Van Nuys K. Uptake of Infliximab Biosimilars Among the Medicare Population. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 20, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.3188
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: