Recent Study Examines the Influence of Institutional Incentives in Uptake of Biosimilars

An April 2020 article in Arthritis & Rheumatology by Joshua F. Baker et. al. reported the results of a cross-sectional study comparing uptake in the ordering of biosimilars at two medical centers in Philadelphia: the University of Pennsylvania Health System (“UPHS”) and the local Veteran’s Affairs medical center (“VMAC”). The study included a comparison of infliximab, a TNF alpha inhibitor that is used for treating chronic inflammatory diseases, with its biosimilars. The authors observed that the uptake of infliximab biosimilars was slower at the academic institution compared to the local VMAC. While 99% of the almost 16,000 infliximab infusions ordered at UPHS were for the reference product, 62% of the 446 infliximab administrations ordered at the VMAC were for the reference product. The authors noted that average sales prices were lower for biosimilar infliximab products, but estimated institutional financial incentives remained similar over time for biosimilar and reference infliximab at UPHS. At the VAMC, the authors reported savings of 81% savings per vial for biosimilar infliximab compared to the reference infliximab.

Baker JF, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020