Dermatology / Psoriasis

Biosimilars Match Up With Originals for Skin Disorders

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Similar discontinuation rates in psoriasis, effectiveness in hidradenitis suppurativa
A mandated, nonmedical switch from adalimumab (Humira) to a biosimilar for psoriasis did not lead to a drop-off in drug retention, according to a Danish registry analysis.

A year after switching to a biosimilar, 92.0% of patients remained on treatment versus 92.1% of patients treated with adalimumab originator. Rates of discontinuation for any reason or for adverse events (AEs) did not differ between the two patient groups, although treatment with a biosimilar was associated with more dermatologic AEs.

The two groups also did not differ significantly with respect to change in disease severity, Nikolai Loft, MD, of the University of Copenhagen, and co-authors reported in JAMA Dermatology.

"These results suggest that the effectiveness of adalimumab biosimilar is similar to that of adalimumab originator," the authors concluded. "A nonmedical switch from adalimumab originator to an adalimumab biosimilar does not appear to affect drug retention. However, switching to an adalimumab biosimilar might lead to more dermatologic AEs, although whether this is attributable to increased medical scrutiny remains unclear and warrants further study."

A small, unrelated retrospective cohort study showed no difference in response rates for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) treated with infliximab (Remicade) or the biosimilar infliximab-abda. Though limited, the findings suggest the biosimilar "is likely a reasonable treatment option for hidradenitis suppurativa," reported Linnea Lackstrom Westerkam, BA, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The two studies support the argument that biosimilars have effectiveness and safety comparable to that of originator drugs, wrote Mark Lebwohl, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, in an accompanying editorial. However, he acknowledged that manufacturers of the originator…
Charles Bankhead
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