Background The growing use of biological therapies in immune-mediated rheumatic diseases represents a significant burden to healthcare systems struggling with tighter budgets.
Objectives Our aim was to assess potential cost savings associated with the use of biosimilar anti-rheumatic therapies.
Methods We performed a systematic literature search in the Medline database as well as EULAR, ACR and ISPOR meeting abstracts to identify budget impact analysis on biosimilars of infliximab (IFX), etanercept (ETA) and adalimumab (ADA) used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. We included articles and abstracts published from 2013 onwards.
Results We screened 195 articles by title and abstract and 2 publications fulfilled our inclusion criteria, both concerning IFX. Five abstracts were also included (2 on ETA, 2 on IFX and 1 on IFX+ETA+ADA). Five studies performed the analysis on rheumatoid arthritis and the other 2 also in spondyloarthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. The heterogeneity of budget impact models didn't allow for direct comparisons but all studies pointed out significant cost savings, from dozens to thousands of millions of euros, depending on the countries analysed, time horizon, discount scenarios and biosimilar uptake shares. The reinvestment of biosimilar-related savings would also allow for the treatment of thousands of additional rheumatic patients. The authors of these models stress, however, that some of the assumptions made may not reflect real-world scenarios. Table 1 summarizes the main findings in the included studies.
Conclusions The use of biosimilar anti-rheumatic therapies may represent a strategy to reduce drug-related expenditure and contribute to financial sustainability of healthcare systems worldwide.
Disclosure of Interest F. Araújo Consultant for: Pfizer, J. Gonçalves Grant/research support from: MSD, UCB and Hospira, Consultant for: MSD, AbbVie, Novartis, Sandoz, Hospira, Celltrion, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Roche and Merck, J. Eurico Fonseca Grant/research support from: Abbvie, Amgen, BMS, Celtrion, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Hospira, Janssen, Mundipharma, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Servier, UCB, Consultant for: Abbvie, Amgen, BMS, Celtrion, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Hospira, Janssen, Mundipharma, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Servier, UCB