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Biosimilars good or bad?

So my insurance is no longer willing to cover the costs for my Remicade. They want me to switch to a biosimilar. It makes me kind of angry that the insurance company is trying to dictate my health plan. I have been in a nice long remission with Remicade and worry a change in treatment plan will cause that to end. I know the makers of Remicade would rather keep me as a user of their medication as there is a lot of pro-Remicade/anti-biosimilar literature at my infusion clinic.
Is anyone taking biosimilars? How was your adjustment to the new meds? Does it work as well as Remicade? I have the option to continue with Remicade but they will only pay what the cost of the biosimilar is and I would have to pay the difference.


Staff member
New York, USA
Has your doctor advocated for you to stay on Remicade? I just got my renewal/approval for the next year, and mine specifically states 'excluding biosimilar'...I know way back when my GI specifically noted that I was to NOT get the biosimilar.....
I had to go through the same thing. I was on Remicade for about 2.5 years and one day, I get a notice in the mail from the insurance saying that they wanted me to switch from Remicade to a biosimilar called Inflectra since Inflectra is cheaper to manufacture/produce. I was really upset and nervous at the time since Remicade had worked so well for me and had kept me in remission. I talked with my doctor about it, however, he thought I would do just fine on Inflectra. I didn't have much help in fighting this since I'm a college student on my parents healthcare insurance, and my parents didn't do much to help the situation either. And I definitely cannot afford my own health insurance policy.

So, I finally was forced to do the switch and things started to go downhill. I was mostly fine after my first infusion of Inflectra, but by the time I needed my next infusion, my symptoms were starting to get out of control again and I was beginning another flare. I talked with my doctor about this and he decided to move the frequency of my infusions from every 7 weeks to every 6 weeks. This change did not help whatsoever and my symptoms continued to worsen.

I also had bloodwork done and compared some things. Right before I made the switch from Remicade to Inflectra, my inflammatory markers such as sed rate, CRP, etc, were the LOWEST they've ever been in the 10 years I've had Crohn's. After making the switch to Inflectra, my inflammatory markers were the HIGHEST they've been in 10 years.

I kept trying to ask my doctor if I could go back to Remicade and he said I couldn't. We then finally decided to double the dosage of Inflectra from 5mg/kg to 10mg/kg and if I continued to flare, that we would look at other treatments.

I have had two infusions of the double dosage, and I am doing MUCH better now. I still feel like Remicade worked better for me and my stools aren't as firm or normal as they were when I was on Remicade, but I don't have any other signs of a flare right now. I can eat normally and go about my day normally, which is very important.

It's really a huge gamble. It seems like reading from a few threads that most people do well with the switch to a biosimilar, however, everyone is different. If Remicade agrees to pay for the cost of the biosimilar and you can afford to pay the difference, I'd say go for it. Why fix it if it's not broken?