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30-10-2017 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Higher than expected rates of biosimilar infliximab discontinuation

medwireNews: A substantial proportion of Dutch patients discontinue treatment with the infliximab biosimilar CT-P13 following transition from the reference drug, researchers report.

In an analysis of 192 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis who switched from infliximab to CT-P13 in 2015, the study authors found that almost a quarter (24.5%) of patients stopped treatment with the biosimilar over 6 months of follow-up, the majority of whom resumed treatment with the originator infliximab.

This discontinuation rate was “much higher than expected based on existing data on long-term [infliximab] treatment,” say Lieke Tweehuysen (Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) and colleagues in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Patients who discontinued CT-P13 had significant increases in subjective tender joint counts and patients’ global disease activity scores, but not in objective assessments such as swollen joint counts and C-reactive protein levels, from baseline to the time of treatment discontinuation, leading the researchers to suggest that the “substantial discontinuation rate […] might be explained by nocebo and/or incorrect causal attribution effects.”

“As a result, communication seems to be the determining factor of the success of transitioning to a biosimilar in daily practice,” they conclude.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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