Drugmaker Pfizer says next month it will launch a less-expensive version of rival Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster immune disorder drug, Remicade.
Pfizer Inc.’s version, called Inflectra, will hit pharmacies in late November. It will be only the second so-called biosimilar drug available in the U.S. Remicade, long J&J’s top-selling drug, is approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, colitis and other immune system disorders.
Biosimilars are near-copies of biologic drugs, which are very expensive injected medicines that are “manufactured” inside living cells, rather than by mixing chemicals together.
More than 20 biosimilar medicines are on the market in Europe. Bu in the U.S., they’ve been delayed by a still-ongoing process setting up rules for their approval and by litigation between drugmakers creating biosimilars and the companies that created the original drugs.