Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are chronic conditions characterised by altered immune regulation causing chronic inflammation in bodily organs or systems. Despite the clinical benefits of biological medicines for IMIDs, the cost of these medicines is relatively high. The high cost of biologics, combined with a stringent regulatory environment in Europe, have created several patient needs, such as access to treatment for IMIDs. As many biologics have now reached patent expiry, several cost-effective biosimilars have been developed and are available for patients with IMIDs.
Biosimilars have enabled lower-cost biologics to enter the market, thereby reducing healthcare spending and releasing budgets that can be reallocated to other disease areas or healthcare services. Cost savings from biosimilars could lead to parity between reimbursement criteria and European clinical guidelines, potentially improving early access to treatments and outcomes in some patients with IMIDs. Improved access can reduce costly surgery and hospitalisations in patients who have benefited from earlier access to biologics.
It is hoped that biosimilars will continue to reduce inequities in the use of biologic medicines for IMIDs and potentially to meet patient needs associated with biologics.