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Paying physicians to prescribe generics and biosimilars in the US

Healthcare spending on prescription medications comprises 1.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the US and continues to rise. Brand-name prescription medications – both small-molecule and biological drugs – are the primary driver of this growth, increasing 15% in price in 2014 alone [1].

Survey among pharmacists shows high confidence for biosimilar substitution when same generic name is used

Approximately 75% of pharmacists indicated that they would be confident or very confident in substituting an interchangeable biosimilar with the reference product if both shared the same active ingredient or non-proprietary name of the reference biological, according to a survey published in JMCP [1]. 

Equivalent safety and efficacy of nephrology subsequent entry biologics in Canada

A review of efficacy and safety data for subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) used in nephrology practice in Canada has found little clinical difference between epoetin SEBs and the reference product. But while the clinical differences are minimal, argue the authors, the financial implications of a possible dose difference between epoetin zeta and the reference product should be considered in future pharmacoeconomic studies [1].

Comparison of non-originator filgrastim with Neupogen finds no difference in neutropenia recovery periods

Results of an observational study found no difference in Biocad’s non-originator filgrastim (Leucostim) compared to Neupogen in the recovery periods for patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia [1].

Generics and off-patent biologicals for cancer treatment in developing countries

The understandable focus on infectious diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria and tuberculosis (TB), has meant that an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), notably cancer, now needs urgent attention across developing countries [1]. Generics and biosimilars offer a lower-cost approach to treatment, but these drugs raise challenges of their own.

Positive phase III data for Amgen adalimumab biosimilar

US biopharmaceutical giant Amgen announced on 3 February 2015 positive results from its phase III clinical trial for a biosimilar version of adalimumab in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Biosimilars compared to generics in the European market

Once a patent expires, price competition is possible since any manufacturer can copy the originator product. This circumstance justifies the place in the pharmaceutical market for generics and biosimilars, i.e. off-patent medicines to be sold at lower prices than their originators [1].

Impact of nephrology subsequent entry biologics in Canada

Subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) may soon be a reality in Canadian nephrology practice. Along with opportunities to reduce healthcare costs, these agents pose unique challenges to successful implementation. Understanding the experiences around the globe in both regulatory affairs and implementation will be a valuable guide for Canadian clinicians. This review should assist clinicians and policymakers to navigate this complex subject and to make informed decisions in the best interest of their patients [1].

No relevant difference in ADRs from biosimilars and originators

A study of adverse drug reactions reported in Italy has shown no difference between the number and type of side effects reported for biosimilars and their corresponding originators [1].

Filgrastim biosimilar has similar safety and efficacy to Neupogen

A filgrastim biosimilar (EP2006) from Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss pharma giant Novartis, has shown similar safety and efficacy compared to Amgen’s Neupogen (filgrastim) in a pivotal phase III clinical study.

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