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Amgen's (AMGN) blockbuster Enbrel drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis, which generated sales...

Amgen's (AMGN) blockbuster Enbrel drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis, which generated sales of $4.23B last year, is no more effective than a combination of three generic treatments, a study shows. While a regimen that includes Enbrel costs $25,000 a year per patient, the "triple therapy" costs just $1,000. The research didn't examine similar drugs from AbbVie (ABBV) or Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), although many doctors consider them to be equivalent to Enbrel. Despite the study, researchers feel that the branded treatments might be too well ensconced to be quickly replaced.
Comments (4)
  • I do not believe this stub of an article. Enbrel not only took care of my daughters psoriatic arthritis systems it actually helped reverse the damage and after a couple of years she did not need the drug anymore. You would not have gotten this kind of performance from a generic cocktail that is designed to treat symptoms.
    12 Jun 2013, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • Oh. Well since one guy shared an anecdote I guess we can write off years of research on thousands of people. Thanks for setting everyone straight, doctor.
    12 Jun 2013, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Research sponsored by an agency that only allows generics. I am shocked, absolutely shocked, that they have magically found a generic equivalent (really non-inferior) for a class of drugs that the government has targeted as enemy #1 for their budget. And published by the former haunt of Marcia Angell. Now there is a nice combination of biased agendas that, if subjected to a double-blind, would certainly come up inferior. Even better news: Dr. O'Dell has a 4 drug combo of 50 year old cancer meds that showed superiority to Avastin in a mid trial peek at the data and a 17 drug generic combo that cures the common cold, but is only in Phase II, so you'll have to wait on that one.
    12 Jun 2013, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • I have rheumatoid arthritis and started on methotrexate (one of the generic combos). In less than three months I was completely disabled and my doctor added Humira. It was a miracle drug for me and worked well for a year. Then I switched to Enbrel (still used methotrexate) and added sulfasalazine (one of the generic combos). This combo with Enbrel worked for a year and a half. I've tried plaquinel (one of the generic combos) and had debilitating nausea, not to mention being afraid of the risk to my vision that comes with the side effect of this lovely generic.

     

    Today I get an infusion of Actemra once every 4 weeks. I've been on this biologic for six months and no longer need to take methotrexate or sulfasalazine. Do I miss the mouth ulcers at a rate of two to four per week?? NO. Do I miss only being able to have a glass or two of wine on special occasions?? NO. Do I miss the nausea and fatigue that come with sulfasalazine and methotrexate?? NO. Oh and did I mention if I missed my skin just drying up, and my hair thinning and wondering how the heck my wonderful pharmacist was going to swing another miracle to get me injectable methotrexate which has been in shortage for years?? NO Nope Not even. Do I miss my liver enzymes going up and wbc going down? Hell NO. But according to this article I should give up those spendy drugs that gave me my life back, drugs that my health insurance pays for because I paid for a policy (and continue to pay) for a good policy so that I can have a choice in my options for this disease, so I don't have to take a handful of pills three times a day, so I don't have to use a walker to save $24000. Hmmmm what do I choose...... A walker, inability to turn door knobs or braid my hair, and lets not forget the horrible unbelievable pain....... or choose a relatively normal life thanks to a spendy biologic drug.

     

    There are other studies that clearly show that triple therapy with generic dmards does not hold back joint erosions as well as biologics over one year of time. Go put that in your study! I choose life.
    13 Jun 2013, 03:34 AM Reply Like
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