Multiple Studies Highlight Economic Benefits of Biosimilar Infliximab

This week, healthcare economics stakeholders have gathered in Barcelona, Spain, for the 2018 annual European meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. During the meeting, research teams from around the globe are presenting findings that support the use of biosimilar infliximab as a cost-saving measure. 
Kelly Davio
November 13, 2018
This week, healthcare economics stakeholders have gathered in Barcelona, Spain, for the 2018 annual European meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. During the meeting, research teams from around the globe are presenting findings that support the use of biosimilar infliximab as a cost-saving measure. 

Biosimilars Produce Substantial Savings in Ireland
Ireland has had a relatively slow uptake of biosimilars compared with some other nations in the European Union, but research from a large Irish teaching hospital demonstrated that substantial cost savings can be achieved through switching patients to biosimilar infliximab from the reference Remicade.1

From 2016 to 2017, researchers collected data on 20 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who switched to CT-P13 (Inflectra, Remsima). Cost data for the originator and biosimilar products were derived from ex-factory prices listed in a national pharmaceutical database, and additional hypothetical discounts for the biosimilar of 15%, 30%, and 45% were applied to mimic current discounting practices for the biosimilar. 

The researchers found that, by switching these 20 patients, the hospital could save between €76,638 and €180,099 ($86,118 and $202,378, respectively).
 
“Cost savings accrued from biosimilar medicine usage is of benefit to all stakeholders: increased access to medicines for patients, more treatment options for prescribers, sustainable healthcare budgets for payers and more business opportunities for manufacturers,” wrote the investigators.

In Korea, Infliximab Use Rises With Biosimilar Availability
Another study that assessed the alterations in the market for biologics after biosimilar entry, found that the use of infliximab has increased overall since biosimilar infliximab became available.2

Drawing on data from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Services database from 2012 to 2016, the researchers evaluated infliximab’s prescription volume. They found that the total use of infliximab has increased since the biosimilar was approved for Korean reimbursement in 2012, while the use of the originator product has dropped. 

As of the fourth quarter of 2016, prescriptions for the biosimilar had overtaken prescriptions of the originator (52.04% versus 47.96%, respectively). 

Benefit-Risk Analysis Favors Biosimilar Infliximab in the United Kingdom
Finally, researchers from the United Kingdom described findings of a quantitative benefit-risk analysis of biosimilar infliximab versus the originator in Crohn disease (CD).3

Using a hypothetical cohort of 100,000 patients modeled for 1 year, the researchers predicted an annual base-case analysis of 0.803 quality-adjusted life years gained for each biologic, and annual per-patient costs of £18,087 and £19,176 ($23,344 and $24,750), respectively. The incremental net health benefit of 0.04 (95% Central Range, 0.00-0.09) favored the biosimilar. 

Employing such a model to assess other biosimilars, wrote the researchers, could prove useful as a basis for the quantitative evaluation of these products in health technology appraisals in indications for which clinical trial evidence is not available. 

References
1. O’Brien GL, Carroll DG, Walshe V, et al. A cost saving measure from the utilization of biosimilar infliximab in the Irish secondary care setting. Presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Europe 2018, November 10-14, 2018; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract PGI34. https://tools.ispor.org/ScientificPresentationsDatabase/Presentation/85364?pdfid=57403.

2. Cho J, An D, Jang S, Lee E. Bright future for the use of biosimilar infliximab: evidence-based analysis using healthcare claim database. Presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Europe 2018, November 10-14, 2018; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract PMS73. https://tools.ispor.org/ScientificPresentationsDatabase/Presentation/86364?pdfid=58804.

3. Catt H, Bodger K, Kirkham J, Hughes DA. Quantitative benefit-risk modelling of biosimilars: a case study of infliximab in Crohn’s disease. Presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Europe 2018, November 10-14, 2018; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract PRM142. https://tools.ispor.org/ScientificPresentationsDatabase/Presentation/86643?pdfid=58151.

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