Skip to content
Font Size

Paying for Biologics to Treat RA: Where to Find Help

Efforts to Make Biologics More Affordable

Part of the Healthcare Reform Act targeted the creation of cheaper versions of biologic drugs (often called "follow-on biologics"). After a company has produced a biologic drug under patent for 12 years, other companies can produce similar versions of that drug, known as "biosimilar" drugs. But the process involved in producing a biosimilar drug is more complicated than it is to produce a traditional generic drug.

Biologic drugs are made from proteins taken from living cells. It's harder to prove that a biosimilar drug is as safe and effective as the original biologic. The FDA is still devising the requirements a drug will have to meet to be called "biosimilar."

Because companies may have to fund clinical studies to prove their drugs are biosimilar to the original, consumers may not save much with biosimilar drugs. It will be a while before we know how much money people might truly save with these drugs.

1|2

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on June 25, 2013

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Four that fight inflammation.
 
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know about these RA myths and facts?
Patients who take the product would get no
This may lead to worsening symptoms.
 
Lucille Ball
Slideshow
Hand bones X-ray
Article
 
prescription pills
Article
Woman massaging her neck
Quiz
 
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Slideshow
Woman rubbing shoulder
Slideshow
 
Working out with light weights
Video
arthritis
Article