The Use of Biosimilars in the Treatment of Rheumatological Diseases


Medscape provides summary coverage of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) paper on the use of biosimilars in the treatment of rheumatological diseases — drawing extensively upon the successful usage of biosimilars in Europe.
“[I]t is reassuring to recognize the scientific rigor with which the [US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] and other regulatory agencies around the world have evaluated biosimilars,” Louis Bridges, Jr, MD, PhD, chair, ACR Committee on Research and Director, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues write. “We remain optimistic that the use of biosimilars will improve patient access to biologic agents, allowing continued delivery of high quality healthcare to be realized at a lower cost to the individual patient.”
As of September 2017, the FDA had approved seven biosimilars, five of which are tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. In Europe, more than 20 biosimiliars have been approved and are in the marketplace.
The introduction of biosimilars will spur competition in the marketplace, which should cause prices of both the original biologic and its biosimilar to drop.
Read more about the ACR paper coverage in Medscape.

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