Doctor's aptitude for switching from innovator etanercept to biosimilar etanercept in inflammatory rheumatic diseases: experience from a single French rheumatology tertiary care center

OBJECTIVES To describe the switch to biosimilar etanercept (bETN), evaluate factors associated with this switch, and evaluate the efficacy of this switch in a real-life setting METHODS: We included patients, from October 2016 to April 2017, with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthritis (SpA) who received innovator ETN (iETN) for at least 6 months. After receiving information on biosimilars, all physicians were invited to propose a switch from iETN to bETN. Factors associated with bETN discontinuation were explored by univariate and multivariate analyses. We estimated the proportion of patients still on bETN over time by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. We assessed serum trough concentrations of iETN and bETN and anti-drug antibodies to ETN.
RESULTS Overall, 183 outpatients were eligible for a potential switch; 94 (51.6%) switched from iETN to bETN. The probability of a switch was greater with an older than younger aged physician (mean [SD] age 50.4 [14.3]with a switch vs 44.8 [11.3] with no switch, p = 0.005) and the physician having a full-time academic position than other position (56.4% with a switch vs 13.5% with no switch, p < 0.001). After a 6-month follow-up, bETN retention rate was 83% (95% CI: 0.76-0.92). The first cause of bETN discontinuation was inefficacy (50%). On multivariate analysis, no factor was independently associated with a bETN switch or discontinuation. Drug trough levels did not significantly differ by discontinuation or continuation of bETN. No patient showed anti-drug antibodies.
CONCLUSION The probability of switching from iETN to bETN was likely related to physician characteristics.

as reported in: Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 5 [Epub ahead of print]