Rheumatology

Transitioning from reference adalimumab (Humira) to Amgen’s FDA- and EU-approved adalimumab biosimilar ABP 501 (Amgevita) was not associated with increased immunogenicity over an observation period of 72 weeks in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the results of a study presented at the European Congress of Rheumatology.
Italian researchers report that 72% of their trial participants being treated for psoriatic arthritis achieved sustained remission with ETN 25 mg biweekly, which was maintained a year after treatment initiation.
A survey of German patients who used a prefilled pen for subcutaneous delivery of biosimilar etanercept SB4 has reported a very high level of patient satisfaction with the product following an interim analysis.
 Catch up on the week’s top rheumatology, gastroenterology, clinical practice, regulatory, policy, and business news from the world of biosimilars. 
 
In the short term, nonmedical switching (NMS) of stable patients with a rheumatic condition from originator biologics to biosimilars could have “considerable” short-term costs for a rheumatology medical center, according to a study presented at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology.
Research presented at the European League Against Rheumatism’s Annual European Congress of Rheumatology concluded that patients’ attitudes and level of satisfaction with switching to a biosimilar for etanercept or infliximab was associated with their level of health literacy, defined as being given sufficient and necessary information concerning their health.  
New International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) recommendations are now available for the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis living in resource-poor regions, including Central and South America and Africa.
The study, conducted in 80 patients with rheumatic diseases who elected to switch from treatment with originator etanercept to biosimilar etanercept, found that 80% were willing to switch, and switching did not affect treatment effectiveness during 1 year of follow up.
Guidelines recommend that disease activity should be assessed every 1 to 3 months in patients with high or moderate disease activity, and every 6 to 12 months in those with low disease activity or remission, but implementation of these principles has not been well evaluated in the United States. 
Rituximab has previously been shown to be effective at doses of 1000 mg in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had previously received other biologic agents. Research presented at the European League Against Rheumatism's Annual European Congress of Rheumatology demonstrates that using lower doses of biosimilar rituximab—which may provide a substantial cost savings—is also effective.
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