International Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation, 2019, 9, 1, 12-15.
Published: March 2019
Type: Original Article
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, JORDAN.
Feras Darwich Elhajji
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Faculty Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Amman, JORDAN.
Objectives: To study and assess the comparative cost efficiency of Infliximab’s originator (Remicade®) and its biosimilar (Remsima®) in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) across seven Middle Eastern and Northern African countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Tunisia, Algeria and Iraq. Methods: Direct costs incurred by one patient for the treatment of moderate to severe RA according to clinical practice were calculated with a treatment regimen consisting of the recommended initial dose of infliximab which is 3 mg/kg every 8 weeks after taking initial loading doses at weeks 0, 2 and 6. The budget impact analysis also depended on two different scenarios. The first scenario disallows the interchangeability between Remicade® and Remsima® during the treatment duration, while the second scenario assumes interchangeability after 6 months of treatment from the infliximab’s originator to its biosimilar. Results: The cumulative cost for treatment with the originator infliximab (Remicade®) and its biosimilar Remsima® for the three-year period was 27054.00 $ and 21384.00 $, respectively and according to the first treatment scenario. For the second scenario which assumes interchangeability, the total 3 year cost for both Remicade® and Remsima® was 27054.00 $ and 22335.30 $, respectively. The overall cost savings over three years ranged between 17.4–21% for the two simulated scenarios. Conclusion: Our study displayed that employing Infliximab’s biosimilar (Remsima®) for the treatment of RA makes a significant decrease in the overall cost of treatment incurred by the patient (or the payer). Our results clearly highlight that employing Infliximab’s biosimilar, Remsima®, for the treatment of RA in the MENA regions would provide significant savings both for the patient or the institutional health care organizations responsible for covering the cost of therapy.
Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, Biosimilars, Infliximab, Budget impact analysis, Cost Efficiency.