Arthritis biosimilar gets green light

The TGA has approved a new biosimilar, Brenzys (etanercept), for the treatment of a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and psoriasis.

Its maker MSD has already made a submission for a PBS listing, which was discussed earlier this month during the July PBAC meeting. A decision should be made public by the end of the year.

“Pending education of healthcare professionals and successful reimbursement, we would hope to make Brenzys available in Australia in early 2017,” says MSD Medical Director Dr Gary Jankelowitz.

Such a move would set the scene for competition with the originator biologic, Enbrel, which has been a blockbuster for Pfizer.

Dr Mona Marabani, who is chair of the biosimilars working group of the Australian Rheumatology Association, says community pharmacies will play a key role in the smooth roll-out of biosimilars in rheumatology as they will