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Taking advantage of the availability of biosimilars in Rheumatology

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Taking advantage of the availability of biosimilars in Rheumatology

The Oxford AHSN’s Clinical Innovation Adoption programme is leading on a regional project which focusses on supporting regional partners to optimise the financial savings arising from the introduction of biosimilars in Rheumatology.

Working closely with the AHSN Inflammatory Arthritis network, the team has engaged a wide number of stakeholders in the region who will be impacted by the introduction of biosimilars.

From this engagement, the team recognised a number of opportunities to support commissioners, prover pharmacy and provider Rheumatology come to agreement on a position around the adoption of biosimilars.

The first biosimilar etanercept (Benepali) came to the UK market in Feb 2016 with a significant discount relative to pricing in the previous year. Partner organisations were faced with an opportunity to make savings through starting new patients on the biosimilar and/or switching existing etanercept patients from the originator compound to the biosimilar.

The project team have developed a number of shared resources for regional stake holders including template financial incentivisation (gain share) agreements; patient information and patient letters which have been used by partners with good feedback.

Biosimilars Pipeline

With biosimilars of key high cost biologic therapies being launched in next 2- 3 years the Oxford AHSN are currently looking at ways in which it can further support its partners beyond Rheumatology (see below)


Future Biosimilar Launches

  • Abatacept (Orencia) in Rheumatology – 2020
  • Denosumab (Prolia) in Musculoskeltal (Osteoporosis) – 2020
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin) in Gastroenterology (Colon Cancer) – 2021
  • Ranibizumab (Lucentis) in Ophthalmology (Age related macular degeneration) – 2022

Patient Education

After feedback from local partners on a dearth of appropriate information for patients on biosimilars, the Oxford AHSN has partnered with Sandoz to create a concise and effective video resource. Developing the video with NRAS and a patient panel the video aims to answer important questions patients may have when being asked to make the switch to biosimilars

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For more information on this project or to be involved please contact James Rose

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