Biosimilar drugs offer a savings opportunity that we must take

Biosimilar drugs offer a savings opportunity that we must take
Enbrel

A dramatic increase in the prescribing of cheaper biosimilar medicines is required to enable us to afford costly new cancer and other therapies

Since 2010, the Irish health service has spent over €1 billion on two medicines alone: adalimumab (brand name: Humira) and etanercept (brand name: Enbrel). Both are complex biological medicines that are licensed to treat a variety of conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthropathy to inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The beneficial effects of these drugs are experienced by over 16,000 patients today, but this comes at a large price. In...

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