• Biosimilar Biologics

    When the patent of an originator expires, other manufacturers are allowed to make a biosimilar version of the medicine. A biosimilar has similar effectiveness, safety, and quality and delivers the same therapeutic benefits to patients as its originator. 4

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    Dr. John Wade, MD, FRCPC, talks about Biosimilars for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Dr. John Wade, MD, FRCPC, talks about Biosimilars for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
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    Dr. Navjot Dhindsa, MD, FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses the benefits of Biosimilars in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    Dr. Navjot Dhindsa, MD, FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses the benefits of Biosimilars in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
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    Dr. Jean-Pierre Raynauld, MD, FRCPC, parle de biosimilaires pour le traitement de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde.
    Dr. Jean-Pierre Raynauld, MD, FRCPC, parle de biosimilaires pour le traitement de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde.
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    Dr. Muxin (Max) Sun, MD, FRCPC, talks about Biosimilars for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    Dr. Muxin (Max) Sun, MD, FRCPC, talks about Biosimilars for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • What are biosimilar biologics?

    When the patent of an originator expires, other manufacturers are allowed to make a biosimilar version of the medicine. A biosimilar has similar effectiveness, safety, and quality and delivers the same therapeutic benefits to patients as its originator. 4 They are typically prescribed to inflammatory arthritis patients by a rheumatologist.

                                    

     

    For example: • adalimumab (Amgevita®), adalimumab (Hadlima®), adalimumab (Hulio®), adalimumab (Hyrimoz®), and adalimumab (Idacio®) are biosimilar versions of the originator adalimumab (Humira®); • etanercept (Brenzys®) and etanercept (Erelzi®) are biosimilar versions of the originator etanercept (Enbrel®); • infliximab (Inflectra®) and infliximab (Renflexis®) are biosimilar versions of the originator infliximab (Remicade®); • rituximab (Riximyo®), rituximab(Ruxience®) and rituximab (Truxima®) are biosimilar versions of the originator rituximab (Rituxan®). Due to the size, complexity and natural variability of biologic medications, a biosimilar and its originator can be shown to be similar, but not identical.

    For example, the way that adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, or rituximab are manufactured make it impossible to produce an exact copy of the molecules. This differs from other pill-form medications you may have taken before. Medications like methotrexate and ibuprofen are made of small chemical molecules, not proteins. When patents expire on small molecule medications and generic versions are authorized for manufacture, exact copies can be made.

  • Biosimilars for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Biosimilars are medications that we use to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. These are proteins that we inject under the skin or we have to infuse them through an IV. The reason we have to do that is they are proteins – you can’t swallow them because they would be digested. So very different from traditional medications that we use for rheumatoid arthritis. In treating this condition, often seeing a local massage therapist for muscle tension, a local personal trainer for muscle strength and a physiotherapist for release and conditioning is a good option. Getting a referral to a rheumatologist or your local pharmacist is also important in dealing with Arthritic conditions.  

    Biosimilars are very similar types of medications, they have the same protein structure as original biologics. The difference is because they are a large molecule, in the manufacturing process there may be some minor changes in the structure of the protein. As a result we need to make sure that these biosimilars have the same efficacy and no increase in side effects of the medications.

    Biosimilars have to go through a kind of similar kind of registration process that the biologics have, so they need to go through a process where the FDA in the United States and Health Canada here looks at these medications, and appropriate studies are done to ensure that they’re as safe and effective as the original biologic.

    The big advantage of the biosimilars or the biologics is the price. They’re going to be less expensive than the original biologics. The expectation in rheumatoid arthritis patients is they would receive the same range of services as if they would have received the same biologic. Those services would include access to infusion clinics if they needed infusion, some financial assistance, assistance with the pharmacy and other assisstancies they might need. In treating rheumatoid arthritis with the biosimilars, you want to make sure you check with your rheumatologist, and perhaps your pharmacist, to make sure it’s the right medication for you. Presenter: Dr. John Wade, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist

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