Background The biosimilars, compared with the efficacy and safety of the originator, have a lower cost, which can generate significant savings and free up valuable resources for the economic sustainability of public health systems, such as those in Italy.
Purpose The objective of this work was to estimate the potential economic impact resulting from the use of biosimilar infliximab in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, taking into account the Italian regulatory framework that provides for the use of biosimilar in naive patients and the inability to switch treatment in patients already receiving therapy.
Material and methods The analysis was for a 2 year period (2013–2014) and was conducted through the use of administrative databases, specifically the database of prescriptions is the territorial hospital for drugs deemed tracers of the disease (eg, methotrexate), the database exemptions citizen users and, finally, data resulting from hospitalisations, for all 28 hospitals that belong to ASL Milan.
Results The results of the observation revealed 874 patients treated with infliximab in the years 2013–2014, and of these 14% (121 subjects) had rheumatoid arthritis, 36% had inflammatory bowel disease, 12% ankylosing spondylitis, 10% psoriasis, 6% had mixed forms and the remaining 22% had various or rare diseases. Of the 121 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 20 were identified as naive patients in 2013, and the cost in the first and second years of treatment were analysed by comparing use with the originator of the biosimilar, given that the data in 2014 showed the same portion of naive patients compared with 2013. The cost estimate for the 20 naive patients with rheumatoid arthritis reported a total annual saving of 30 000 Euros for the first year of treatment and about 25 000 Euros for the second.
Conclusion The use of biosimilars was strategically important, especially if we consider that rheumatoid arthritis is just one of the therapeutic indications for which it is indicated, and that even greater savings will be derived from use in other chronic conditions.
References and/or Acknowledgements PLANETRA study.
No conflict of interest.
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