Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who resumed infliximab treatment after using a biosimilar faced a threefold increased risk of discontinuing the treatment over time due to an unwanted response. This observation was made in a study conducted by Rosanne W. Meijboom and her team from the Pharmacy Foundation of Haarlem Hospitals in the Netherlands.
Study Background: The research aimed to understand the reasons behind patients reverting from a biosimilar to the original infliximab. While many patients transitioned successfully from the infliximab originator to its biosimilar, about 7% reverted to the originator.
Research Methodology: The study, conducted between January 2015 and September 2019, analyzed the risks and reasons for discontinuing infliximab among IBD patients who resumed treatment with the originator compared to those who continued with the biosimilar. Out of 198 individuals studied, 24.7% switched back to the originator.
Findings: 22.7% of the patients who reverted to the originator discontinued treatment due to unwanted responses, compared to 13.4% in the biosimilar group. Only 2.3% in the retransitioning group discontinued due to disease remission, compared to 9.4% in the biosimilar group.
Increased Risk: Patients who reverted to the originator had a 3.7 times higher risk of discontinuing infliximab due to unwanted responses compared to those who stayed on the biosimilar.
The study suggests that the decision to revert to the originator is more likely related to the patient and/or their disease, including their beliefs about the biosimilar, rather than the biosimilar itself.