NICE: Introducing biosimilar versions of infliximab: Inflectra and Remsima

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) has published a new adoption resource to support the introduction of biosimilar versions of infliximab: Inflectra and Remsima.

This resource has been developed for both clinical and non-clinical staff to help them manage the introduction of these biosimilar medicines into their care pathways safely and effectively. It will beparticularly relevant and useful to gastroenterology; rheumatology, pharmacy and nursing staff, as well as to other clinical areas that are planning for the introduction of biosimilar medicines and their commissioners.

A biosimilar medicine is a biological medicine that is developed to be highly similar to an existing biological medicine in physicochemical and biological terms. NICE’s position statement on evaluating biosimilar medicines was published in January 2015. This states that biosimilars notified to the NICE topic selection process for referral to the Technology Appraisal programme will usually be considered in the context of a Multiple Technology Appraisal, in parallel with their reference products in the indication under consideration.

The Department of Health has confirmed that a technology appraisal remit referred to NICE enables NICE to decide to apply the same remit, and the resulting guidance, to relevant licensed biosimilar products which subsequently appear on the market.

Infliximab is used to treat a number of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, including: adult rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, and adult and paediatric Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Its biosimilar versions have the potential to offer the NHS considerable savings, especially when used to treat long-term conditions.

The latest adoption resource looks at how NHS organisations can safely and effectively transition from Infliximab to Inflectra or Remsima. It provides real-life insights from NHS clinicians who have already switched to these new technologies, providing:

  • Practical advice on how to effectively introduce biosimilars into the care pathway, taken from case studies carried out in two NHS Foundation trusts
  • Important advice on possible barriers to implementation and how to overcome these
  • Information on the opportunities for cost-savings and re-investment
  • A process to implement a well-managed safe switching programme to biosimilars.

For more information and to access our adoption resource, please visit the NICE website.

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