Inflectra will be an alternative offered at a lower cost (similar to a generic drug) than its “reference biologic product” (similar to a brand-name drug). Like brand-name Remicade (infliximab), Inflectra will be use to treat several inflammatory conditions, include Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.
What is a biosimilar drug?
A biosimilar is basically a very similar product to a type of medication known as a biologic. Biologic medications are typically made from a living organism including humans, animals, microorganisms, or yeast.
Unlike regular brand and generic alternatives though, your pharmacist can’t automatically substitute a biosimilar for the original product. Your doctor will need to write a new prescription for Inlfectra if you already take Remicade.
For more information on biosimilars, see our previous post here.
What is Inflectra used for?
Like Remicade, Inflectra is used for several conditions, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), and psoriatic arthritis.
What are the side effects of Inflectra?
The most common side effects of Inflectra include respiratory infections, sore throat, headache, cough, stomach pain, and reaction to the infusion.
What kind of savings will Inflectra offer?
No. Inflectra is a biosimilar NOT an interchangeable product like a regular generic.
Generic medications can be substituted for a brand name medication, without needing to consult your doctor. However, biosimilars like Inflectra require a new prescription.
Want more info?
See the FDA announcement here.