Oct 17 Pfizer Inc said on Monday it
plans to begin shipping its biosimilar version of Johnson &
Johnson's blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade
in late November at a 15 percent discount to current wholesale
The Pfizer drug, to be sold under the name Inflectra, is
already available in Europe and other overseas markets and would
be the second biosimilar available in the United States.
As it is not possible to produce exact copies of biotech
drugs made from living cells, the cheaper versions are referred
to as biosimilars rather than generics. They are intended to
provide less expensive alternatives to pricey biologic
Remicade is J&J's biggest selling drug with U.S. sales of
about $5 billion a year.
J&J's forecasts for 2016 had assumed no competition from a
Remicade biosimilar this year. Its shares slipped about half a
percent to $118.49 in after hours trading.
J&J was not immediately available to comment.
Pfizer said its pricing for the drug below Remicade
wholesale costs does not take into account discounts to health
insurers, distributors or other purchasing organizations.
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis Inflectra, like
Remicade, is also approved to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative
colitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and the spine condition
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson; Editing by