In 2023, the pharmaceutical industry has seen a significant increase in the number of drugs available in the market. Among the top contenders in the market are Remicade and Inflectra, two drugs designed to treat autoimmune diseases. While both drugs have similar functions, there are some significant differences between them that make them stand out. In this article, we will discuss Remicade vs Inflectra and provide a comprehensive comparison between them.
What is Remicade?
Remicade is a drug that is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. It works by blocking a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which is responsible for inflammation in the body. Remicade is administered through an intravenous infusion, and the dosage is determined by the patient’s weight and the severity of their condition.
What is Inflectra?
Inflectra is also a drug that is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. It works in a similar way to Remicade and also blocks TNF. Inflectra is administered through an intravenous infusion, and the dosage is also determined by the patient’s weight and the severity of their condition.
One of the most significant differences between Remicade and Inflectra is the cost. Remicade is a patented drug, which means that the manufacturer has exclusive rights to sell it for a certain period. This exclusivity period typically lasts for 20 years. Since Remicade is still under patent, it is more expensive than Inflectra, which is a biosimilar drug. A biosimilar drug is a drug that is similar in safety and efficacy to a licensed drug but is not identical.
Both Remicade and Inflectra have been shown to be effective in treating inflammatory conditions. A study conducted in 2016 found that the efficacy of Inflectra was equivalent to that of Remicade in patients with Crohn’s disease. Another study conducted in 2017 found that Inflectra was non-inferior to Remicade in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These studies suggest that Inflectra is just as effective as Remicade in treating these conditions.
Both Remicade and Inflectra have similar safety profiles, and the most common side effects are similar. These side effects include headaches, nausea, and infections. However, some patients may be allergic to Remicade, which can cause anaphylaxis. Inflectra is less likely to cause an allergic reaction since it is a biosimilar drug. However, patients should still be monitored for any adverse reactions.
Since Remicade is a patented drug, it is only available through the manufacturer or their authorized distributors. This means that patients may have to go to a specific hospital or clinic to receive the drug. On the other hand, Inflectra is a biosimilar drug and is more widely available. It can be obtained from various pharmacies and hospitals, making it more accessible to patients.
Insurance Coverage Comparison
Insurance coverage is another important factor to consider when comparing Remicade and Inflectra. Since Remicade is more expensive, it may not be covered by some insurance plans. However, Inflectra is a biosimilar drug and is typically covered by insurance plans. This means that patients may have to pay less out of pocket for Inflectra than for Remicade.
In conclusion, both Remicade and Inflectra are effective drugs for treating inflammatory conditions. While Remicade is more expensive, it may be necessary for some patients who are allergic to Inflectra. However, for most patients, Inflectra is just as effective as Remicade and is more accessible and affordable. Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of both drugs with their healthcare provider to determine which drug is best for them.