Humira is the world’s biggest selling drug, and costs hospitals over £400 million a year. Now Samsung Bioepis has launched Humira biosimilar Imraldi in the EU, offering NHS trusts the opportunity to capitalise on potential savings of up to £150 million a year for treating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa and Crohn’s disease. This sits well with NHS England’s strategy of accelerating the use of biosimilars to save around £300 million a year by 2021. This strategy has already led to a saving of more than £200 million in 2017/18 for the NHS, and comes with guidance to Trusts and CCGs to switch at least 80% of existing patients to the best value biologic within 12 months.
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Biosimilar versions of widely used, expensive drugs are already delivering safe, effective treatment for patients across the NHS, including those with cancer. Adalimumab is the NHS’s biggest spend on a single drug and, as the NHS develops the long term plan, we want more clinicians to switch to use the best value biologics which will free up hundreds of millions of pounds to reinvest back into patient care.”
“Samsung Bioepis’ Imraldi launched in Europe“
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, Psoriasis Association and Crohn’s & Colitis UK said in a joint statement: “We welcome the increased availability of effective treatment options for patients and understand the importance of the wise and careful use of NHS resources. Our organisations have been working to provide patient information and support since 2014 and are familiar with the evidence to date which reinforces the fact that biosimilars are as safe and effective as the reference products. The introduction of biosimilars for adalimumab brings opportunities for both patients and the NHS.”