Biosimilar - being asked to switch from Enbrel

I’ve posted before about my experiences with Enbrel and how it has totally transformed my life to the point where I hardly know I have PsA at all. I’m still taking MTX which occasionally causes a few issues with my liver function tests, but that apart, it’s all good :slight_smile:

At my last rheumy appointment he mentioned biosimilars but implied that existing patients would not be switched, but that possibly new ones would be started on a biosimilar instead of the original drug.
I’ve just received a letter from the NHS trust asking if I would agreed to be switched to Benepali - an Enbrel biosimilar. It’s come as a bit of a shock.
Initial reaction - no way. I was asked to choose which biologic I wanted and one of my decision factors was how long the drug had been in use. Also, given that my response has been so good, I don’t feel I want to do anything to jeopardise it.
The flip side is that I know there is a cost saving and there are limited funds and it might allow more people to be treated. From some very quick searching, I understand the saving to be about 10%, not quite as great as I expected.
So if I say no, I will feel guilty, and a bit selfish.

Has anyone else in the UK currently on a biologic been asked to switch? Or had discussions about switching with their rheumy? What were your thoughts?

I’ve just found this document which is helpful

The biosimilar debate is just starting up in the US. I think you’re right to be cautious. You’ve had good results with Enbrel and the biosimilar is just that, similar. As for feeling guilty? I think your primary concern has to be for your own health. WHat’s to stop your local health service for starting a new patient on the new biosimilar instead of asking an existing patient seeing good results to switch. To be frank I don’t see it as something for you to spend any precious energy on (although I think it makes you a decent human for thinking that way!).

I agree with janeatiu. It makes more sense to start new patients in the biosimilar. Then if it doesn’t work for them the next step would be the real biologic. And what’s with the only 10% price reduction? It seems like a big gamble for a very small savings.I’m also doing very well on Enbrel, and I’m from the U.S.–I won’t be surprised if our insurance companies here give us grief about paying for the higher-priced biologic as soon as the biosimilars are available here!