Biosimilar versions of anti-TNF drugs could save NHS money, drug company claims

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 06 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5337
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The NHS is missing out on tens of millions of pounds in savings because of its slow take-up of a biosimilar version of infliximab, one distributor of the biosimilar drug has claimed.

After six months, the biosimilar (sold in the United Kingdom under two brand names, Remsima and Inflectra) has gained less than 5% of the market despite offering nearly a 50% cut in price, said Andrew Roberts, director for market access at Napp Pharmaceuticals, which sells Remsima. The NHS spends £184m (€249m; $279m) a year on infliximab (Remicade), so the potential yearly savings could be around £90m if all patients were switched.

The slow uptake of Remsima and Inflectra in the NHS contrasts with Norway, where the biosimilar gained a 20% market share six months …

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