Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

NICE backs biosimilars in rheumatoid arthritis guidance

Seven biologic drugs (DMARDs) and two biosimilars recommended

NICEThe UK's cost-effectiveness body has for the first time included biosimilar drugs in new guidance on the use of biologics in severe rheumatoid arthritis.

The final guidance - published yesterday - recommends seven biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and two biosimilars and is in line with draft guidance published last September.

The recommended brands are: AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab), Pfizer's Enbrel (etanercept), UCB's Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), MSD/Johnson & Johnson's Simponi (golimumab), Roche's RoActemra (tocilizumab), Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia (abatacept) and MSD/J&J's Remicade (infliximab).

Also backed are Napp Pharmaceuticals' Remsima and Pfizer's Inflectra, both of which are biosimilar versions of $10bn-a-year brand Remicade and cost around 10% less than the originator drug at list prices.  However, it is understood that the biosimilars are being supplied at an undisclosed discount to the NHS.

As their name suggests, biosimilars are copies of biologic drugs that are similar but not identical to the original medicine, but are considered therapeutically equivalent.

Importantly, NICE says treatment should be started "with the least expensive drug", taking into account administration costs, the dose needed and the price of the drug per dose, suggesting there will be pressure on NHS prescribers to opt for the cheaper biosimilars.

All the drugs are recommended for use alongside methotrexate, while Humira, Enbrel, Cimzia and RoActemra are also backed for use on their own in patients who cannot tolerate the conventional DMARD.

"This guidance considers at which stage it's clinically and cost effective to start using biological therapies as treatment options for adults with rheumatoid arthritis," said Professor Carole Longson, director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE.

The guidance only applies to patients with severe RA who have already tried earlier treatment with methotrexate and other conventional DMARDs as well as short-term corticosteroid therapy.

Article by
Phil Taylor

27th February 2015

From: Regulatory

Share

Tags

COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs

PMHub

Add my company
Page & Page and Partners

For those who can imagine better, Page & Page and Partners (P&P) is home to meaningful encounters of a marketing, communication...

Latest intelligence

The Patient Will See You Now – The Evolution of the Doctor-Patient Relationship
The doctor-patient relationship is an ever changing one that changes as society changes. Technology then helps to drive this change along with a wide number of other factors....
Mind the Gap – Challenging Immunisation Apathy and Misinformation
world, the biggest challenges remain apathy and misinformation. Since a measles vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1968, Public Health England estimates that 20 million measles cases and 4,500...
Towards Better HCP Engagement – An Email Masterclass
6% of HCPs prefer being contacted by email, compared to 17% who favour the second most popular option: direct interaction with reps....