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16 October 2018

Humira (Adalimumab) - Most Commonly Prescribed Biologic for Psoriasis Comes Off Patent

AbbVie's Humira (Adalimumab) comes off patent, paving the way for 'biosimilar' products to be offered on the NHS.

The first biosimilars to be introduced in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis came to the UK market in early 2015. However, the most commonly prescribed biologic comes off patent on 16th October 2018. Whilst Abbvie’s Humira (Adalimumab) will still be available, a number of Adalimumab biosimilar products will also be coming to market.

Helen McAteer, CEO of the Psoriasis Association, has been working with NHS England on their Adalimumab Patient Working Group with other patient organisations representing immune mediated inflammatory diseases, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Axial Spondyloarthropathies, and Crohn’s & Colitis. We and NHS England wanted to ensure that issues which matter and are important to patients in regard to switching from an originator drug to its biosimilar, are understood and taken into account.

The four organisations representing patients for whom this will most affect provided the following quote in respect of the NHS England Press Release:

“We welcome 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 in the field of biosimilars 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. However, it is vital that patients are fully informed about all the treatment options available to them and commissioners and health professionals adopt the principles of shared decision-making. At a time when services are thinking about new contracts, we would also hope that patients’ views are proactively sought and that things that matter to patients, including excipients, device and homecare packages, are given due consideration.”

NHS England has announced that the biosimilar versions of Adalimumab are expected to be available to NHS patients from December 2018. NHS England is expecting to make monetary savings on the prescription of Adalimumab due to increased competition.

Helen McAteer, Chief Executive of the Psoriasis Association says:

“The biologics revolution has completely changed the experiences patients have of living with moderate to severe psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. Weeks spent as an inpatient are now unheard of thanks to these highly sophisticated injections and infusions. Patients are acutely aware of how stretched the NHS resources are, and understand the need to use the best value biologic for their condition and lifestyle. 

Biologics, like patients, are complex and so the need to find the best value, most appropriate treatment must be achieved through shared-decision making between clinician and patient. Biosimilars have proven efficacy and so the Psoriasis Association supports their use when the originator product might ordinarily have been given, providing the standard of support to patients is equal to, or better than that already offered, and that manufacturers contribute to biologics registries such as BADBIR."

For more information on Adalimumab, have a read of our information sheet or get in touch.