ARTICLE | Company News

Merck sales and marketing update

September 5, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended that Merck’s biosimilar Brenzys etanercept “could be marked as equivalent” to reference product Enbrel on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The recommendation would give pharmacists the authority to substitute either brand at the point of dispensing for all approved indications. The PBAC said prescribers and patients may choose to not permit brand substitution.

In July, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration ( TGA) approved Brenzys to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. Merck declined to comment on a price for the biosimilar but said it expects an Australian launch early next year. Brenzys is also approved in South Korea and is marketed in Europe as Benepali. Etanercept is a recombinant p75 tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor linked to the Fc portion of human IgG1 (TNFr:Fc). ...