A new report into the use of biological therapies to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has found that new biosimilar medicines, which work in the same way as the more expensive existing treatments, are safe and effective for patients and if adopted can halve the cost of treatment.
The audit, published by the Royal College of Physicians on behalf of the IBD audit programme, is the first to include data on new Infliximab ‘biosimilar’ drugs Inflectra and Remsima, now being used on patients as alternatives to the original Remicade in the treatment of IBD. These drugs have been available in the UK from February 2015 and are designed to have active properties similar to the biological treatment already licensed.
Mr O.D Faiz, chair of the ACPGBI IBD Subcommittee & Ileal Pouch Registry says:
“The results of this latest IBD Audit are encouraging. They suggest that the efficacy of biosimilar agents appear comparable to those of the original biological therapies. These agents could potentially offer significant cost savings to the NHS. In the future, the IBD Registry will assume responsibility for ongoing monitoring of the safety and efficacy of existing and new biological therapies in patients undergoing surgery for IBD in the UK.”