Biosimilar Remicade Will Pit Rising Cost Pressures Against Prescriber Caution
If approved in Europe this year, as expected, Celltrion/Hospira’s biosimilar infliximab will provide a compelling test of whether and how quickly budgetary pressures can override physician caution. It will also set the stage for the $70 billion worth of copycat antibodies in development.
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This month a handful of biosimilars of the world’s top-selling drug, Humira (adalimumab), are due to launch in Europe. They will not topple the $18 billion behemoth. But they will do some damage, as Europe’s cash-strapped payers ready themselves to embrace these cheaper lookalikes.
Physicians appear more willing to prescribe Hospira’s Inflectra, a biosimilar version of J&J’s Remicade, to new patients in countries in Europe where it is available, but less inclined to switch patients already taking the brand. The company’s experience in Europe could offer lessons for manufacturers looking to bring biosimilars to market in the US.
Large established firms will have an advantage in the competition for formulary position, payer survey finds.