Anyone who has spent any amount of money on prescriptions knows that they’re ridiculously expensive. This letter to the editor shows how U.S. pharmaceutical companies are really lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to competition.
Unfortunately for people with autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, there’s almost no competition in the biologics area.
Biologics are heavily advertised and very expensive specialty medications that have radically changed the treatment course for a range of conditions, from cancer to autoimmune disorders. Biologics can cost from $1,000 to $100,000 per month. Here in the U.S., biologics account for just 2 percent of prescription drug utilization, but amount to 40 percent of prescription drug spending, and the percentage is rising.
The U.S. lags many parts of the world when it comes to bringing biosimilars to market. Just a few biosimilars are available here. In Europe, where the first biosimilar was approved for use in 2006, there now are 28 biosimilars available for a variety of conditions. They are safe, effective and affordable alternatives to their high-priced biologic counterparts. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, patients can expect a biosimilar to produce a result that’s similar to the result produced by its comparable biologic.
Remicade is a biologic produced by Johnson & Johnson to treat inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, plaque psoriasis and ulcerative colitis. In the United States, the average annual cost of Remicade is $28,000 per patient. Johnson & Johnson has raised the price of Remicade by 57 percent over the past five years (many of those years had two price increases).
Read more of our articles if you’re interested in finding out about home remedies for psoriasis.