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Survey: Most Rheumatologists Expect to Prescribe Biosimilar Infliximab Within 1 Year of Launch

Switching of currently treated patients is likely to be limited

Decision Resources Group, a health care research firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that most surveyed rheumatologists in the U.S., France, and Germany expect to prescribe biosimilar infliximab within 1 year of its launch if the biosimilar is priced at a net discount of 15% to 30% compared with the price of Remicade (Janssen) and has demonstrated similar efficacy in clinical trials.

In other key findings, rheumatologists and gastroenterologists indicated that responding patients currently receiving a reference-brand tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitor were unlikely to be switched to one of its biosimilars. Cross-brand switching of patients receiving a non–reference-brand TNF-alpha inhibitor to a biosimilar was even less likely.

Almost half of surveyed rheumatologists would consider treating their rheumatoid arthritis patients with a biosimilar TNF-alpha inhibitor after the failure of conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) ahead of branded TNF-alpha inhibitors.

Only a minority of surveyed gastroenterologists and rheumatologists were aware that pharmacy-level substitution of biosimilars will be permitted under certain circumstances in their country; only 14% of them expected to allow pharmacy-level substitution for all biologics and all patients.

Surveyed U.S. rheumatologists and gastroenterologists indicated that patient out-of-pocket costs will influence their prescribing of TNF-alpha inhibitor biosimilars; if a biosimilar costs the patient 30% less than the reference brand, physicians indicated that they expect to prescribe the biosimilar to more than twice the number of eligible patients compared with a biosimilar that costs the patient 10% less than the reference brand.

Source: BioTrends Research Group; October 7, 2014.

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