FDA approves First Anemia Biosimilar for Kidney Patients

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Pfizer’s biosimilar anemia drug, Retacrit (epoetin alfa-epbx). After two previous approval attempts, Retacrit was approved as a biosimilar to Epogen (Amgen) and Procrit (epoetin alfa, Johnson & Johnson).

Nephrologists as a group appear to be receptive to biosimilars for their patients. Spherix Global Insights reported their approval in a March 2018 survey of 202 nephrologists, especially if Retacrit use should become required by dialysis organizations. Only 22% of nephrologists surveyed agreed with the statement “I would not be pleased if my dialysis center switched to a biosimilar ESA.”

The biosimilar will be