Biosimilar infliximab may not reduce treatment costs for US patients
medwireNews: Using infliximab-dyyb instead of the reference product may not reduce out-of-pocket costs for US rheumatoid arthritis patients insured on the Medicare Part D system, study results suggest.
As reported in a JAMA research letter, Jinoos Yazdany (University of California, San Francisco, USA) and team calculated that the use of infliximab-dyyb was associated with “modestly lower” total average annual cost than infliximab, at US$ 14,202 (€ 12,265) versus $ 17,335 (€ 14,970).
However, the researchers say that insurance plans “universally required coinsurance cost-sharing for infliximab-dyyb,” and with the current coinsurance rates covering around 27–28% of the drugs’ cost, the estimated annual out-of-pocket costs were significantly higher for patients receiving the biosimilar versus originator infliximab, at $ 5118 (€ 4419) versus $ 3432 (€ 2963).
Although these estimates did not account for biosimilar gap discounts, which will begin in 2019, “infliximab-dyyb may still not significantly reduce Part D beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs given its high price and coinsurance cost-sharing similar to infliximab,” remark Yazdany and colleagues.
“Further policies are needed to address affordability and access to specialty drugs,” they conclude.
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