‌15 November 2022

TNF-alpha inhibitors biosimilar use in France

Contexte and Objectives

TNF-alpha inhibitors have revolutionized the therapeutic care in chronic inflammatory diseases. Several biosimilar products were commercialized at their patent expiry, substantially decreasing the cost of treatment. This longitudinal descriptive study aimed at assessing infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab biosimilar penetration rates using data of the French National Health Data System.



A total of 207,118 new or prevalent users from the date of first biosimilar commercialization in France (respectively January 2015, May 2016 and October 2018) were included in the study and followed until September 30, 2021. Biosimilars represented respectively 78%, 46% and 53% of the overall initiations, and 94%, 66% and 60% last year’s initiations. A total of 46%, 19% and 17% of originator product prevalent users switched for a biosimilar during the follow-up. Biosimilar penetration rate was much higher for infliximab than for its counterparts, due to its hospital delivery modality. Biosimilar initiation and originator-to-biosimilar switch tended to be observed more in rheumatology than in the other specialties. Biosimilar use was mostly consistent across patient socio-demographic characteristics. Biosimilar initiation rate increased rapidly from their market arrival and originator-to-biosimilar switch rate remained moderate, highlighting the need and usefulness of political action and biosimilar use tracking.

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