Humira, Enbrel, Xarelto—these are some of the many expensive brand drugs that cost well over $400 per month, leaving many to count down the days until a cost-effective generic is approved. But how long will we have to wait? As much as 40 years in some cases.
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Botox. Humira. Lantus. Enbrel. You’ve probably heard of at least one of these medicines before, but did you know that all of them are derived from living cells? These popular drugs are examples of biologics, or biological medications, that are developed from blood, proteins, viruses, and living organisms and are used to prevent, treat, and cure human disease.
How are biologics different from other drugs?
A biosimilar is like a generic medication in that it is less expensive than the brand name medication. However, the difference is that biosimilars are made out living cells, so they may be slightly different from their counterpart. This usually means that the pharmacist will not substitute these medications without approval from a doctor. See More
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. See More
You may be unfamiliar with the terms biologics or biosimilars but if you watch television you may have seen a commercial for them and not even know it! For example – the popular arthritis or Crohn’s medications Enbrel and Humira are biologics.
Biologics are medications that are typically expensive and usually obtained from a specialty pharmacy. Biologics are generally not used as first line treatment but instead considered by your doctor after other less expensive treatment options have been tried and failed. See More