Biosimilar infliximab offered to French hospitals at 45% discount

Biosimilares/General | Posted 31/07/2015 post-comment0 Post your comment

A major French hospital group has chosen biosimilar infliximab to treat its patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis, after major discounts on the drug were offered to the group.

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The tender by the General Agency for Health Products and Equipment (l'Agence Générale des Equipements et Produits de Santé, AGEPS/AP-HP) was launched on 12 February 2015 and is estimated to be worth Euros 6 million. The tender was won by US-based generics maker Hospira, after the company offered a price reduction for its biosimilar infliximab, Inflectra, estimated to give savings of 45%, when taking into account all discounts offered.

AP-HP said that while the result of the tender process was an opportunity to reduce drug spending, the quality, effectiveness and safety of medicines was the group’s ongoing priority. The group will also still provide the originator (Remicade) for patients already treated with infliximab. However, this means that all new (naïve) patients will be started on Inflectra.

France is the first European country to consider legislation on biosimilars substitution. French legislation will, if decrees are passed, allow pharmacists in France to substitute a biosimilar for the prescribed (reference) biological under certain conditions, including only when initiating a course of treatment and where the prescribing physician has not marked the prescription as ‘non-substitutable’ [1].

AP-HP caters for nearly a quarter of the country’s population and the tender decision will allow the biosimilar to take a significant chunk of the French market.

This is not the first time that biosimilar infliximab has been offered at a significant discount in Europe. Orion Pharma (Orion) proposed a 72% price reduction in Norway for the infliximab biosimilar Remsima, an offer which gives a 69% lower cost than the price offered by Merck for their originator product Remicade (infliximab) [2].

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References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. France to allow biosimilars substitution [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 31]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/France-to-allow-biosimilars-substitution
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Huge discount on biosimilar infliximab in Norway [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 31]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/Huge-discount-on-biosimilar-infliximab-in-Norway

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Source: APHP, Reuters

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