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05-09-2018 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Biosimilar infliximab may not reduce treatment costs for US patients

medwireNews: Using infliximab-dyyb instead of the reference product may not reduce out-of-pocket costs for US rheumatoid arthritis patients insured on the Medicare Part D system, study results suggest.

As reported in a JAMA research letter, Jinoos Yazdany (University of California, San Francisco, USA) and team calculated that the use of infliximab-dyyb was associated with “modestly lower” total average annual cost than infliximab, at US$ 14,202 (€ 12,265) versus $ 17,335 (€ 14,970).

However, the researchers say that insurance plans “universally required coinsurance cost-sharing for infliximab-dyyb,” and with the current coinsurance rates covering around 27–28% of the drugs’ cost, the estimated annual out-of-pocket costs were significantly higher for patients receiving the biosimilar versus originator infliximab, at $ 5118 (€ 4419) versus $ 3432 (€ 2963).

Although these estimates did not account for biosimilar gap discounts, which will begin in 2019, “infliximab-dyyb may still not significantly reduce Part D beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs given its high price and coinsurance cost-sharing similar to infliximab,” remark Yazdany and colleagues.

“Further policies are needed to address affordability and access to specialty drugs,” they conclude.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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