A biologic pen and a biosimilar pen being held up by two hands

Let's Talk Biosimilars & Psoriasis Treatment

2023 can potentially be a game changer in providing those of us who live with psoriasis new treatments. I have lived with psoriasis for going on almost 20 years. Like most people with psoriasis I have been on a multitude of medications.

Biosimilars: a simple definition

Biologics are defined as medications that are made either from living cells in a lab or through a biological process. There are currently 12 biologics available as of 2022 that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Biosimilars are defined as a product that has been approved because it demonstrates that it is very similar to an FDA-approved biologic. That is about the simplest way I know how to define the two so that you know the difference. There are 7 biosimilars to Humira, 2 biosimilars to Enbrel and 4 biosimilars to Remicade. There are more biosimilars being developed and tested currently.

Taking a look at my own psoriasis treatment journey...

Currently the count stands at 5 as to the biologics that I have been on and failed. That count does not even include the topicals that have been prescribed to me with little to no improvement seen. The current medication that I am on is an oral treatment meaning a treatment in pill form.

While there are still options regarding treatments I can take I do worry what will happen if come the day I fail my last biologic. Seeing as psoriasis is a life-long condition that I will always have I can’t help but have those worries.

A biosimilar discussion & a proud moment...

In December 2022, I had the honor of being a patient advocate on a Biosimilars Roundtable. I was asked to join the roundtable discussion as a patient who had been on a certain biologic whether currently or in the past. In my case the particular biologic was the very first one I had been on.

I was so excited to be put on Humira. I just knew it would be my wonder drug. I would not have to live with psoriasis any longer or at least that is what I thought. It was such a long time ago. Long before I knew all the things that comes with living with psoriasis.

A glimpse into the future

The panelists for this esteemed roundtable included the following: Robert Popovian from the Global Healthy Living Foundation, Dr. Sameer Awsare from The Permanete Medical Group, Wayne Winegarden, PhD, from the Pacific Research Institute, Peter Pitts from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, Terry Wilcox from Patients Rising, MacKay Jimeson from Patient Access and Affordability Project and myself.

We were brought together as panelists to discuss the upcoming launch involving biosimilars, the impact it would have on the treatment options available and what this could potentially mean to patients who are prescribed biologics to treat a multitude of conditions including psoriasis.

What makes 2023 a potential game changer regarding biosimilars?

Some if these biosimilars are potentially about to be available in the United States as a treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. One of the things I learned on this panel is that the US gives a manufacturer of a biologic 12 years of market protection meaning no other company can put a drug on the market that is similar to the biologic.

That protection for one particular biologic came to a close in 2022. Can you figure of the 3 biologics I listed above which one that relates too? What could it mean to those of us living with psoriasis and the treatment options we will now have?

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