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Biogen: Anti-TNF Biosimilars Are Underutilized


Two Biogen officials make the case for getting anti–tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biosimilars into wider play.

Anti—tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biosimilars can provide a more cost-effective, targeted approach to treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, according to a review paper.

“Along the course of the last 2 decades, TNF inhibitors, particularly etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab, have revolutionized the management of chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases; however, their relatively high cost prevented healthcare systems from exploiting their full clinical benefit,” Mourad F. Rezk, MD, global head of Medical Affairs for Biogen's biosimilars portfolio, and Burkhard Pieper, director of Scientific Affairs for Biogen, wrote in Advances in Therapy.

The wealth of real-world evidence on these agents suggests that not only is use increasing but also these drugs are improving access and outcomes, they explained.

“This includes the opportunity to realize clinical goals such as early initiation of biological treatment, treating to target, continuing treatment to maintain remission or low disease activity and reducing disease burden,” they wrote.

However, optimizing these biosimilars requires that biosimilars be approved “expeditiously,” competition against originator drugs is “optimized,” and patients are switched to biosimilars. “All of these actions will result in maximum cost savings, which can then be reinvested into patient care,” they wrote.

Biogen turned in a good second-quarter 2020 financial performance, with modestly improved earnings; however, biosimilar revenues declined 7%.

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