Our thoughts on the new biosimilars for osteoporosis available on the NHS
09 Sep 2019
Two new biosimilars have been launched for the osteoporosis medication teriparatide. This is positive news that we hope will improve access to the treatment across the UK.
Teriparatide is a parathyroid hormone treatment, used to increase the activity of bone-building cells in people with osteoporosis.
Previously available under the brand name Forsteo, the patent for the drug has recently expired and it has become available as two new biosimilars.
A biosimilar is a very similar version of an original ‘reference’ medication, made by a different company. These aren’t the same as generic medications, which are chemically identical copies of branded drugs.
Because they are approved according to the same quality, safety and efficacy standards that apply to other medicines, biosimilars are in practice as effective as their reference medicines.
It’s hoped that their introduction will reduce costs and increase access to teriparatide, providing healthcare professionals and patients with improved choice in clinically effective osteoporosis treatments.
“We are delighted that teriparatide – an effective treatment for osteoporosis – is now available as a biosimilar,” says Alison Doyle, our Head of Clinical and Operations.
“This once expensive medication was restricted until last year, when NHS England announced the treatment would be available to men as well as women.
“Though we know some men still struggle to get access to teriparatide, the availability of these biosimilars should drive down the cost of treatment and make it available to more people with osteoporosis.
“Improved choice in the current offering of clinically effective treatments for osteoporosis is welcome news for healthcare professionals and people with osteoporosis alike.”
Teriparatide is now available under the name Terossa from pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter, and as Movymia from Thornton & Ross.
For more information about availability and whether teriparatide might be suitable for you, talk to your GP or consultant.