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Payer Insights: RA : Update Bulletin [August 2017]

Product Code:
Publication Date:
August 2017

This edition presents payer views on recent developments in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) market. Topics include; recent approvals for biosimilar rituximab products in Europe Celltrion/Mundipharma’s Truxima (CT-P10) and Sandoz (Novartis)’ Rixathon; approvals of biosimilar anti-TNF therapies in the EU/US with Merck & Co. launching Renflexis (biosimilar infliximab) in the US at a 35 percent discount to the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of Remicade; and the approval of Regeneron/Sanofi’s interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitor Kevzara (sarilumab) in the US at a 30 percent discount to branded market leaders Humira and Enbrel.

Business Questions:

  • How do payers view the recently approved biosimilars of rituximab?
  • How will the availability of biosimilar rituximab impact the usage of the drug in RA; will rituximab be used in earlier treatment settings?
  • On what factors will the switch from branded to biosimilar rituximab depend?
  • How is the launch of biosimilar adalimumab expected to alter the RA treatment algorithm?
  • What level of discount do payers demand in order to facilitate market penetration of biosimilar adalimumab?
  • How will the 35 percent discount on biosimilar infliximab alter the RA treatment paradigm in the US?
  • How will biosimilars be positioned in the formulary for the treatment of RA?
  • What factors will drive the acceptance of biosimilars by payers?
  • How will payers manage the use of biosimilars in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients?
  • How do payers view the pricing strategy for Kevzara and where will it be positioned in the formulary?
  • How do payers view the anti-IL-6 drug class for the treatment of RA and how do they compare with oral JAK inhibitors?
  • What drug class will payers prefer to contract for the treatment of RA and why?
  • How is the RA treatment paradigm expected to evolve in the future?

Update Bulletins include expert insight and analysis based on FirstWord analyst re-engagement with KOLs after major events such as product approvals, key data releases and major conferences to deliver the most valuable insights with each update.


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