What Market Access Challenges and Opportunities Lie Ahead for Emerging SLE Biologics? | Physician & Payer Forum | EU5 | 2014

Benlysta (GlaxoSmithKline) is not only the first drug approved for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in more than 50 years, but also the first biologic approved for the indication. However, uptake of Benlysta has been tempered by its relatively high price in a largely generic market coupled with physicians’ perception of its modest efficacy, slow onset to action, and inability to be used in patients with severe, life-threatening organ involvement. Several biological therapies (including blisibimod, epratuzumab, rigerimod, SC Benlysta, tabalumab) are in late-stage development for SLE; however, for those drugs that have available clinical trial data, their demonstrated effect on disease activity is not substantially differentiated from Benlysta. It is unclear to what extent physicians and payers will accept novel biological therapies with premium prices as well as emerging biosimilar versions of Rituxan (Biogen Idec/Roche/Genentech).

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