Uptake of biosimilars for TNF-α inhibitors adalimumab and etanercept following the best-value biological medicine initiative in Ireland.

Affiliation

Duggan B(1)(2), Smith A(3), Barry M(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.
(2)Health Services Executive
(HSE) Medicines Management Programme, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.
(3)Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. [Email]

Abstract

Background There is over 10 years of clinical experience and evidence to show that biosimilar medicines can be used as safely and effectively in approved therapeutic indications as their originator biological medicines. In Ireland, biosimilar medicine uptake has been very slow, and savings to the health service will only be realised through fostering a competitive biological medicine market. Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the utilisation of biosimilars following a 'best-value biological' medicine initiative for adalimumab and etanercept in the Irish healthcare setting. Methods Data was extracted from the National High Tech claims database and High Tech ordering and management hub for the following drugs; adalimumab (Humira®, Amgevita®, Hulio®, Idacio®, and Imraldi®) and etanercept (Enbrel® and Benepali®). Main outcome measure: uptake of the best-value biological medicines. Results In June 2019, just over 90 patients had been initiated on, or switched to a best-value biological for adalimumab or etanercept. Over the next 12 months this increased to over 8500 patients. With the best-value biologicals accounting for approximately 50 % of market share in June 2020, the combined estimated savings and avoided costs are €22.7 million to date. The gain-share prescribing incentive has raised over €3.6 million for the specialties to invest back into patient care. Conclusion Against the background of a finite healthcare budget, this study shows that increasing use of biosimilars can create the financial savings and space to invest in new innovative therapies for the benefit of many patients.