Biological drugs revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. However, not all clinically eligible patients have access to biologicals, due to significant costs and budget impact. Biosimilars are highly comparable to their originator product in terms of clinical efficacy and safety. Biosimilars are priced 15-75% lower than their reference product, which makes them a less costly alternative and is expected to offer better patients access to biologicals. The total projected cost savings are significant.
If the achieved budget savings were used to cover more biological therapy, several additional IBD patients could be treated. Currently, the main barriers to the increasing uptake of biosimilars are the few incentives of the key stakeholders, while physicians’ and patients’ skepticism towards biosimilars seems to be changing. Over the coming years, biosimilars are expected to gain a growing importance in the treatment of IBD, contributing to a better access to treatment, improving population-level health gain and sustainability of health systems. This review summarizes the results of the literature on the economic considerations of biosimilars in IBD and the role of biosimilar infliximab in the treatment of IBD.
Keywords: biosimilars, inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cost-effectiveness, healthcare costs, budget impact, access to health services
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