Implementation of a biosimilar adoption program can be successful and result in substantial cost-savings without compromising clinical outcomes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy (April 2020;26:410-416).
Infliximab-dyyb (IFX-dyyb) is a biosimilar to infliximab (IFX) approved by the FDA that is 20% to 30% less expensive than its originator product while offering comparable efficacy and safety. However, many institutions have not transitioned to IFX-dyyb or other IFX biosimilars due concerns about clinical outcomes, financial impact, and barriers to operationalizing biosimilar adoption.
In March 2018, Boston Medical Center adopted IFX-dyyb and transitioned its patients who had been on IFX for at least 6 months for all indications to IFX-dyyb. The retrospective cohort study sought to describe the biosimilar adoption process, characterize cost-savings of transitioning patients, and evaluate real-world clinical outcomes of adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who transitioned.
Among the 151 eligible patients from March 2018 through June 2019, 97% (n = 146) successfully transitioned to IFX-dyyb. Researchers noted that Boston Medical Center is projected to save approximately $500,000 annually due to this adoption program.
Additionally, researchers reported that 84% of eligible patients (n = 63 of 75) from March to June 2018 with IBD transitioned to IFX-dyyb. In this cohort, among the 40 patients with Harvey Bradshaw Index or Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index scores before and after transition, 90% (n = 36) maintained remission. For 32 of the patients, the mean c-reactive protein levels before transition was 11.2 and 4.1 after transition (P = .09).
Furthermore, researchers acknowledged that 89% (n = 56) of patients continued with IFX-dyyb after transition as of October 2018. Among the 46 patients with available post-transition data after 12 to 15 months, 83% (n = 38) remained on IFX-dyyb.
“The strategies and model used in this program provide a robust biosimilar adoption road map that can be executed at other institutions to increase patient access to biosimilar therapies and generate significant cost-savings to the health care system,” authors of the study concluded.—Zachary Bessette