Biosimilars in inflammatory bowel disease: A review of post-marketing experience.
ABSTRACT: Biologic compounds are obtained from living organisms or cell cultures by means of biotechnology methods. A similar biologic drug, commonly called biosimilar, is a product copied by a native approved biologic drug whose license has expired. Biosimilar drugs usually are marketed at a lower price and provide important financial savings for public healthcare systems. Some differences between biosimilars and original biologic drugs might exist but they are acceptable if they fall within defined "boundaries of tolerance": differences in some features between the two molecules are considered important only if clinical relevant. Considering that the efficacy of the innovator biologic drug has already been established, the clinical studies required for approval of a biosimilar could be reduced compared with those required for the approval of the originator. In this review, real life data available in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with biosimilars are reported, documenting in general satisfactory outcomes, sustained efficacy and no sign of increased immunogenicity, although, further controlled data are awaited.
Project description:Monoclonal antibody biologic therapies, introduced nearly 20 years ago, revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and are now well established as the most effective agents available. As the first of these biologic agents starts to come off patent, biosimilar agents have emerged as alternatives to originator drugs. The unique drug development and manufacturing processes involved in the creation of biologic agents pose distinct regulatory challenges compared to generic formulations of conventional medications. Reductions in medication costs have been proposed to be a major benefit of biosimilar therapies; however, there are concerns regarding the adequacy of the existing regulatory process and data requirements for biosimilar therapy approval, as well as the true bioequivalence of these agents. Infliximab biosimilars for the treatment of IBD have been available in Europe and Asia for a few years and are expected to become available in the United States within the next 1 to 2 years. This article reviews biosimilar therapies and the current data with respect to IBD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In 2014 and 2015, biosimilars for the drugs filgrastim, infliximab, and insulin glargine were approved for use in Canada. The introduction of biosimilars in Canada could provide significant cost savings for the Canadian healthcare system over originator biologic drugs, however it is known that the use of biosimilars varies widely across the world. The aim of this study was to estimate the use of biosimilars in Canada and potential cost-savings from their use. METHODS:We performed a retrospective analysis of Canadian drug purchases for filgrastim, infliximab, and insulin glargine from July 2016 to June 2018. This was a cross-sectional study and the time horizon was limited to the study period. As a result, no discounting of effects over time was included. Canadian drugstore and hospital purchases data, obtained from IQVIA™, were used to estimate the costs per unit and unit volume for biosimilars and originator biologic drugs within each province. Potential cost-savings were calculated as a product of the units of reference originator product purchased and the cost difference between the originator biologic and its corresponding biosimilar. RESULTS:The purchase of biosimilars varied by each province in Canada, ranging from a low of 0.1% to a high of 81.6% of purchases. In total, $1,048,663,876 Canadian dollars in savings could have been realized with 100% use of biosimilars over the originator products during this 2?year time period. The potential savings are highest in the province of Ontario ($349 million); however, even in smaller markets (PEI and Newfoundland), $28 million could have potentially been saved. Infliximab accounted for the vast majority of the potential cost-savings, whereas the purchases of the biosimilar filgrastim outpaced that of the originator drug in some provinces. In sensitivity analyses assuming only 80% of originator units would be eligible for use as a biosimilar, $838 million dollars in cost savings over this two-year time period would still have been realized. CONCLUSIONS:The overall use of biosimilar drugs in Canada is low. Policy makers, healthcare providers, and patients need to be informed of potential savings by increased use of biosimilars, particularly in an increasingly costly healthcare system.
Project description:Biosimilar drugs are highly similar to an originator (reference) biologic, with no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety or efficacy. As biosimilars offer the potential for lower acquisition costs versus the originator biologic, evaluating the economic implications of the introduction of biosimilars is of interest. Budget impact analysis (BIA) is a commonly used methodology. This review of published BIAs of biosimilar fusion proteins and/or monoclonal antibodies identified 12 unique publications (three full papers and nine congress posters). When evaluated alongside professional guidance on conducting BIA, the majority of BIAs identified were generally in line with international recommendations. However, a lack of peer-reviewed journal articles and considerable shortcomings in the publications were identified. Deficiencies included a limited range of cost parameters, a reliance on assumptions for parameters such as uptake and drug pricing, a lack of expert validation, and a limited range of sensitivity analyses that were based on arbitrary ranges. The rationale for the methods employed, limitations of the BIA approach, and instructions for local adaptation often were inadequately discussed. To understand fully the potential economic impact and value of biosimilars, the impact of biosimilar supply, manufacturer-provided supporting services, and price competition should be included in BIAs. Alternative approaches, such as cost minimization, which requires evidence demonstrating similarity to the originator biologic, and those that integrate a range of economic assessment methods, are needed to assess the value of biosimilars.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>This study examined gastroenterologists' motivation for prescribing biosimilars, assessed their treatment preferences in relation to prescribing behaviour, and explored patient attitudes to biosimilars.<h4>Methods</h4>Data were taken from the Adelphi Real World Biosimilars Programme, a real-world, cross-sectional study undertaken in 2015-2016 with German gastroenterologists and patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Gastroenterologists provided data on their prescribing behaviour and attitudes towards biosimilars, and invited the next eight eligible consecutive consulting patients to complete a detailed questionnaire. For analysis, gastroenterologists were split into 'Investigative', 'Conservative', and 'Other' groups.<h4>Results</h4>Overall, 25 gastroenterologists and 136 patients participated. Biosimilars accounted for <15% of all biologic therapies and >80% of gastroenterologists would prescribe a bio-originator rather than biosimilar as 1st line therapy if unrestricted. Patients showed some reluctance to accept biosimilars, although of those receiving biosimilars, 79% were satisfied with the current treatment of their condition, and 69% were satisfied with the control of symptoms. Although at least 35% of patients in each analysis group reported no concerns when starting treatment with a bio-originator or biosimilar, 41% of previously biologic-naïve patients prescribed a biosimilar indicated potential side effects and potential long-term problems, and 24% not knowing enough about the drug, as concerns.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Results demonstrate that there is reluctance from patients to accept biosimilars and the need to further educate patients who are unsure to allow them to be involved in decision making, highlighting the importance of patient and physician communication. There remains a need for further research into non-clinical switching and the long term impact of prescribing biosimilars.
Project description:The term 'biosimilar' refers to an alternative similar version of an off-patent innovative originator biotechnology product (the 'reference product'). Several biosimilars have been approved in Europe, and a number of top-selling biological medicines have lost, or will lose, patent protection over the next 5 years. We look at the experience in Europe so far. The USA has finally implemented a regulatory route for biosimilar approval. We recommend that European and US governments and payers take a strategic approach to get value for money from the use of biosimilars by (1) supporting and incentivising generation of high-quality comprehensive outcomes data on the effectiveness and safety of biosimilars and originator products; and (2) ensuring that incentives are in place for budget holders to benefit from price competition. This may create greater willingness on the part of budget holders and clinicians to use biosimilar and originator products with comparable outcomes interchangeably, and may drive down prices. Other options, such as direct price cuts for originator products or substitution rules without outcomes data, are likely to discourage biosimilar entry. With such approaches, governments may achieve a one-off cut in originator prices but may put at risk the creation of a more competitive market that would, in time, produce much greater savings. It was the creation of competitive markets for chemical generic drugs-notably, in the USA, the UK and Germany-rather than price control, that enabled payers to achieve the high discounts now taken for granted.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>The Biosimilars Forum conducted a survey through an independent organization from November 20, 2015 to January 4, 2016 in order to assess current levels of awareness, knowledge, and perceptions of biosimilars among US specialty physicians who already prescribe biologics. The survey was intended to provide a baseline level of knowledge about biosimilars and will be repeated in 2-3 years in order to monitor trends over time.<h4>Methods</h4>A 19-question survey was created by the Biosimilars Forum and was administered by an independent third party.<h4>Results</h4>Responses were obtained from 1201 US physicians across specialties that are high prescribers of biologics, including dermatologists, gastroenterologists, hematologist-oncologists, medical oncologists, nephrologists, and rheumatologists.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this survey highlight a significant need for evidence-based education about biosimilars for physicians across specialties. Five major knowledge gaps were identified: defining biologics, biosimilars, and biosimilarity; understanding the approval process and the use of "totality of evidence" to evaluate biosimilars; understanding that the safety and immunogenicity of a biosimilar are comparable to the originator biologic; understanding the rationale for extrapolation of indications; and defining interchangeability and the related rules regarding pharmacy-level substitution.<h4>Funding</h4>Biosimilars Forum.
Project description:Background:Biological therapy has revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After the expiration of patents for biological innovator products, development of biosimilars increased. CT-P13 was the first biosimilar approved for the same indications as the reference product; however, the approval was based on extrapolated data from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Our aim was to review clinical studies about switching from originator infliximab (IFX-O) to biosimilar infliximab (IXF-B) in IBD, focusing on recently published data and the future of biosimilars. Methods:The PubMed database was searched for original articles published up to 1 December 2018 reporting data on IFX-B in IBD. Results:A total of 29 studies assessing switching from IFX-O to IFX-B, 14 assessing induction therapy with IFX-B were found. Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were discussed. Studies confirm that CT-P13 is safe and equally efficient as the reference product for both induction and maintenance therapy; and that switching from the reference product to biosimilar is non-inferior to continuous biosimilar use. However, efficacy and safety data on Flixabi (SB2) in IBD patients is lacking. Conclusion:Switching from the originator to a biosimilar in patients with IBD is acceptable, although scientific and clinical evidence is lacking regarding reverse switching, multiple switching and cross-switching among biosimilars in IBD patients.
Project description:Biological therapies have revolutionized the treatment of several cancers and systemic immune-mediated inflammatory conditions. Expiry of patents protecting a number of biologics has provided the opportunity to commercialize highly similar versions, known as biosimilars. Biosimilars are approved by regulatory agencies via an independent pathway that requires extensive head-to-head comparison with the originator product. Biosimilars have the potential to provide savings to healthcare systems and expand patient access to biologics. In Latin American countries, regulatory frameworks for biosimilar approval have been introduced in recent years, and biosimilars of monoclonal antibody and fusion protein therapies are now emerging. However, the situation in this region is complicated by the presence of "non-comparable biotherapeutics" (also known as "intended copies"), which have not been rigorously compared with the originator product. We review the considerations for clinicians in Latin American countries, focusing on monoclonal antibody biosimilars relevant to oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, and dermatology.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>We sought to evaluate perceptions of biosimilar products among US rheumatologists who prescribe TNF-? inhibitors, given that 10 TNF-? inhibitor biosimilars and two rituximab biosimilars have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.<h4>Methods</h4>A 19-question self-administered online survey was conducted from 6 May to 1 June 2019, and fielded by WebMD, LLC. Rheumatologists (n?=?9050) who were members of Medscape.com and its partner panels were invited to participate. Likert and other rating scales were used to collect responses, which were summarized descriptively.<h4>Results</h4>Responses were obtained from 320 board-certified US rheumatologists, 85% of whom were fellows of the ACR. Nearly all respondents were familiar with the FDA definition of a biosimilar product and were aware that an infliximab biosimilar was FDA approved; fewer realized that adalimumab, etanercept and rituximab biosimilars were also FDA approved. Most respondents (84%) were aware that an approved biosimilar was not automatically deemed interchangeable by the FDA. Rheumatologists were more likely to initiate biosimilar treatment for a biologic treatment-naïve patient with RA (73%) than they were to switch to the biosimilar for a patient with RA doing well on the reference product (35%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this survey suggest that US rheumatologists have a good understanding and acceptance of biosimilar products, particularly for the initiation of treatment in biologic-naïve individuals. They were hesitant to switch from a reference product to a biosimilar for a patient doing well on the reference product. Additional education on biosimilars is required to help inform treatment decisions by rheumatologists. A plain language summary of this article has been uploaded as supplementary material, available at Rheumatology online.
Project description:The value proposition for biosimilars can be characterized as a concept that moves beyond the argument of cost reduction relative to the innovator biologic drug and into a framework that incorporates the diverse needs of key healthcare stakeholders during the transition from clinical development to commercialization in the marketplace.To identify factors that facilitate and inhibit the development, commercialization, and adoption of biosimilars, and to recommend modifications in program design that are likely to support the demonstration of the value of biosimilars for payers, providers, and patients.The primary data sources for this article include surveys conducted by Boston Healthcare Associates with payers and clinicians in the United States and the European Union 5 markets and blinded international protocol feasibility assessments completed by Worldwide Clinical Trials. Survey methodology used either convenience or purposeful sampling as appropriate, with participants extracted from diverse audiences, representative of those who generate or evaluate clinical data shaping the economic exchange and preferential status influencing physician adoption and patient access to biosimilars. Patient characteristics and psychosocial issues influencing patients' perception of small-molecule generics were extracted from the available literature to inform exploratory hypotheses, given the relative absence of such information for biosimilars.This article reviews the current evidence and summarizes results of surveys conducted with payers, providers, and drug investigation sites in the United States. Based on a review of published literature, as well as these survey results, conflicting and convergent demands exist for gathering data related to biosimilars. The motivations and data needs for these new agents are diverse, requiring adjudication of regulatory, economic, and clinical incentives beginning at program inception and extending through commercialization of the final biosimilar agent.The development and commercialization of biosimilars represent an international activity that can encounter unanticipated challenges, as well as opportunities to achieve clinical and commercial success. Evolving regulatory guidance mapped in relation to payer, physician, and patient sentiments may inform the biosimilar development program designs, implementation, and positioning of the new drug.