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Biologics are a special kind of medication that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain conditions like Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, diabetes and more. Some examples of biologics are insulin, hormones and vaccines.
Biosimilars are medications that are made to be highly similar to the biologic and have no clinically meaningful differences in safety or effectiveness. Biosimilars work the same way as biologics and are taken the same way. They also have the same possible side effects. Biosimilars are tested to make sure they are as safe and work as well as the biologics. They also need to be approved by the FDA.
Biosimilars may cost less than biologics and may provide greater access to biologic and/or biosimilar treatment options. When there is more than one medication available to treat a condition, the drug pricing usually becomes more competitive.
Not all biologics have a biosimilar. But biosimilars are available to treat conditions like:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Plaque psoriasis
- Certain cancers
Your doctor may suggest treating your condition with a biosimilar. If you’re already using a biologic that works well, they may suggest that you change to a biosimilar, especially if it costs less. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Together, you can decide on the one that is best for you.
CVS Specialty® can help you stay on track and manage side effects. Our goal is to help you get the best outcomes from your treatment plan. Call us at 1-800-237-2767 to speak to a pharmacist or nurse specially trained in caring for complex conditions and rare diseases.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
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