The European Medicines Agency, which evaluates medicinal products for use in Europe, has granted licences to several biosimilar versions of Remicade (originator infliximab), adding inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as an indication. However, uptake of biosimilars is limited among gastroenterologists in the UK.
Reporting in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis
(online, 16 January 2017), researchers evaluated the outcomes of a gain-share agreement between the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and local clinical commissioning groups, whereby the cost savings of using biosimilars are shared equally between commissioners and secondary care providers.
The programme successfully switched 143 patients with IBD from Remicade to the biosimilar infliximab CT-P13, resulting in a reduction in drug acquisition costs of £40,000–£60,000 per month.
The team concludes that the results demonstrate that ensuring all stakeholders are incentivised via a gain-share agreement can enhance uptake of biosimilars and generate savings for reinvestment in local gastroenterology services, while maintaining similar patient-reported outcomes.