Eye on Pharma: Sandoz Launches Biosimilar Adalimumab, Hyrimoz, in Spain

Biosimilar developer Sandoz today announced the launch of its biosimilar adalimumab, Hyrimoz, in Spain. The biosimilar, referencing Humira, was authorized for sale in the European Union in July 2018. 
The Center for Biosimilars Staff
February 19, 2019
Biosimilar developer Sandoz today announced the launch of its biosimilar adalimumab, Hyrimoz, in Spain. The biosimilar, referencing Humira, was authorized for sale in the European Union in July 2018. 

The biosimilar is approved for all of the indications of the reference adalimumab, and is available in 40-mg doses for subcutaneous injection in either a syringe or prefilled pen. 

"The debilitating effect that conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have on the individual is having an increasing impact on health systems throughout the world," said Joaquín Rodrigo Poch, general director of Sandoz Iberia, in a statement announcing the biosimilar’s launch. He added that the biosimilar will free up resources that can be directed to patient care and the sustainability of the healthcare system as a whole.

Containing healthcare spending is a major challenge that faces policy makers in all developed countries, and Spain is no exception. In fact, according to a 2017 paper, Spain’s spending on healthcare has long been growing faster than its national income.1 The nation’s aging population, high unemployment that limits the tax revenue that funds the system, and the rise of specialty medicines have put further pressure on the country to improve its system’s sustainability.

Yet according to a 2018 report from Medicines for Europe, pharmaceuticals now comprise 16.7% of total healthcare spending in Spain, and that figure saw a 9% decrease between 2008 and 2011 amid a push to reduce the prices of generic medicines. 

The market entry of biosimilar adalimumab could help Spain to reduce its pharmaceutical spending further if the country is able to mirror the successes of its EU counterparts; in November 2018, the United Kingdom announced that adding biosimilar adalimumab to its National Health Service would allow the country to cut its spending on adalimumab by 75%. 

While Hyrimoz is also approved in the United States, having earned FDA authorization in October 2018, the drug will not enter the US market before September 2023 per the terms of a patent dispute settlement between Sandoz and Humira maker AbbVie. 

Reference
1. Avanzas P, Pascual I, Moris C. The great challenge of the public health system in Spain. J Thorac Dis. 2017;9(suppl 6):S430-S433. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2017.04.59.

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