- Earlier this year, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) lowered approved biosimilar versions of Remicade (infliximab). Because of the competitive pricing pressure this places on branded Remicade, Merck has agreed to lower the price in the U.K.
- The companies with approved biosimilar versions of Remicade in that market include Hospira's Inflectra and Napp Pharmaceutical/Celltrion's Remsima.
- Remicade is used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to Biosimilar News, during the second quarter of this year, Merck saw a 25% decline in sales of Remicade. This is something that has already happened in various EU countries. As a result, Merck has been offering discounts and rebates. The discount offered to the UK was $73.3 million based on $292 million (CORRECTION: a previous version of this post incorrectly stated this figure as $292 billion) in Remicade sales. In some Nordic countries, the discounts are as high as 69%.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now, and discounting because of biosimilar competition has been going on for a while now. The question is how this will play out in the U.S. The FDA is currently reviewing a biosimilar version of Remicade from Celltrion, and though approval is not a foregone conclusion, there's a good chance it will happen.