Biosimilars for Psoriasis—Experience from Europe

  • Arnon D. CohenEmail author
  • Tiago Torres
  • Wolf-Henning Boehncke
  • Menno de Rie
  • Denis Jullien
  • Luigi Naldi
  • Caitriona Ryan
  • Robert Strohal
  • Lone Skov
  • Peter van de Kerkhof
  • Joelle M. van der Walt
  • Jashin J. Wu
  • Claus Zachariae
  • Lluis Puig
  • Helen Young
Invited Commentary


Purpose of Review

Over the last several years, major changes have occurred in Europe regarding the use of biosimilars. Some countries such as Norway, Denmark, and the United Kingdom (UK) have a relatively high market penetration of biosimilars, whereas in other European countries, biosimilar uptake is low. The objectives of this review are to describe the use of biosimilars in selected European countries, using “real-life” information from members of the International Psoriasis Council (IPC) who are key opinion leaders in dermatology. The use of biosimilars for patients with psoriasis is continuously discussed and reviewed by the IPC, through in-person meetings by members of the Biosimilar Working Group (BSWG).

Recent Findings

In preparation for this paper, we surveyed the use of biosimilars for patients with psoriasis through European BSWG members, who were asked to describe the situation in their countries. The survey collected information from each IPC councilor regarding the use of biosimilars currently on the market, guidelines for interchangeability, traceability, and naming of these agents. In addition, information regarding pricing, access, and physician/patient education was obtained. The status of biosimilars was discussed at an IPC biosimilar working group roundtable event which was held in Stockholm on June 28th, 2018.


With increased use of biosimilars likely in the future, the IPC will continue to provide leadership, education, and guidance for dermatologists to maximize the challenges presented by the adoption of biosimilars into clinical practice and improve the choice of biologic treatment for patients with moderate-severe psoriasis.


Biologic Biosimilar Traceability Substitution Europe Psoriasis 



Amgen and Sandoz provided corporate sponsorship to the International Psoriasis Council. These sponsors had no influence on the content and viewpoints in this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

Arnon Cohen received research grants from Janssen, Novartis, AbbVie, Janssen and Sanofi. Prof. Arnon Cohen served as a consultant, advisor or speaker to AbbVie, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Dexcel pharma, Janssen, Kamedis, Lilly, Neopharm, Novartis, Perrigo, Pfizer, Rafa, Samsung Bioepis, Sanofi, Sirbal and Taro.

Wolf-Henning Boehncke has received honoraria from Biogen Idec for advisory board service.

Menno de Rie has no disclosures to declare.

Denis Jullien has served as a board member for AbbVie, Pfizer, UCB, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Fresenius Kabi, Biogen, Celgene, MSD. Served as a consultant to Novartis. Received payment for development of educational presentations including service on speakers’ bureaus from Abbvie, Pfizer, MSD, Sanofi, Celgene, Lilly, Janssen, Novartis. Had Travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed by AbbVie, Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen.

Luigi Naldi has served as a board member for Mylan, Fresenius, Boehringer Ingleheim and received paid honoraria from Abbvie, Celgene, Janssen, Cilag, Lilly, Menarini, and Novartis.

Lluís Puig has served as a clinical study investigator for Abbvie, Almirall, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, Leo-Pharma, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sanofi, and UCB; he has perceived consultancy and/or speakers's honoraria from Abbvie, Almirall, Amgen, Baxalta, Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Gebro, Janssen, Leo-Pharma, Lilly, Merck-Serono, MSD, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sandoz, Samsung-Bioepis, Sanofi, and UCB.

Caitriona Ryan has served as a consultant to AbbVie, Dr. Reddy, Demira, Janssen, Leo, Lilly, Novartis, UCB. Received honoraria from AbbVie, Dr. Reddy, Demira, Janssen, Leo, Lilly, Novartis, UCB. Received payment for development of educational presentations including service on speakers’ bureaus from AbbVie, Leo, Janssen, Novartis, Lilly, UCB.

Robert Strohal has served as a consultant to Janssen, AbbVie, Biocad, Sum/Almirall, Pfizer. Received payment for development of educational presentations including service on speakers’ bureaus from Pfizer. Had travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed by Janssen, AbbVie, Biocad, Sum, Pfizer, Novartis.

Lone Skov has served as a board member for AbbVie, Lilly, Novartis, Janssen, Leo Pharma, UCB, Admirall and Sanofi. Served as a consultant to Leo Pharma. Received grants/grants pending from Janssen, Novartis, Leo Pharma, Sanofi. Received payment for development of educational presentations including service on speakers’ bureaus from AbbVie, Lilly, Leo Pharma. Had travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed by AbbVie, Novartis.

Tiago Torres has consulted and received honoraria from AbbVie, Amgen, Boehringer Ingleheim, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen,Leo-Pharma, Eli Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Samsung; grants received from AbbVie, Leo-Pharma, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer; he has been a paid speaker for AbbVie, Janssen, Eil Lilly, Leo- Pharma, MSD, Novartis and Pfizer.

Jashin Wu has received research funding from AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Coherus Biosciences, Dermira, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sandoz, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries; he is a consultant for AbbVie, Amgen, Celgene, Dermira, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries.

Helen Young has served as a consultant for Johnson and Johnson, AbbVie, UCB Pharma, Leo Pharma, Almirall. Received grants/grants pending from Leo Pharma. Received payment for development of educational presentations including service on speakers’ bureaus from Janssen, Novartis, MEDA, Leo Pharma, Almirall. Had travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed by Novartis, Leo Pharma.

Claus Zachariae has served as a consultant (advisory board) for Eli Lilly, Janssen Cilag, Novartis, AbbVie, Takeda, Amgen, Almirall, CSL. Received honoraria (speaker) from Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Leo Pharma, CSL.

Peter C. M.van de Kerkhof. has carried out clinical trials for Centocor, Pfizer, Schering Plough, AbbVie, Philips Lighting, Novartis, GSK, Eli Lilly, Amgen, and Almirall, and has consultancy services for Schering Plough, Celgene, Centocor, Almirall, Pfizer, AbbVie, Actelion, Galderma, Novartis, Janssen, Sandoz, Eli Lilly, Amgen, and Leo Pharma.

J.M. van der Walt has no disclosures to declare.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnon D. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tiago Torres
    • 3
  • Wolf-Henning Boehncke
    • 4
  • Menno de Rie
    • 5
  • Denis Jullien
    • 6
  • Luigi Naldi
    • 7
  • Caitriona Ryan
    • 8
  • Robert Strohal
    • 9
  • Lone Skov
    • 10
  • Peter van de Kerkhof
    • 11
    • 12
  • Joelle M. van der Walt
    • 12
  • Jashin J. Wu
    • 13
  • Claus Zachariae
    • 10
  • Lluis Puig
    • 14
  • Helen Young
    • 15
  1. 1.Siaal Research Center for Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Quality Measurements and Research, Clalit Health ServicesTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Service de DermatologieHôpital Universitaire de GenèveGenèveSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of DermatologyAmsterdam UMCAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Hospices Civils de LyonUniversity of LyonLyonFrance
  7. 7.Department of DermatologyOspedale san BortoloVicenzaItaly
  8. 8.Blackrock Clinic Dublin and University College DublinDublinIreland
  9. 9.Department of Dermatology and VenerologyFederal Academic Teaching Hospital of FeldkirchFeldkirchAustria
  10. 10.Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Herlev and Gentofte HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenHellerupDenmark
  11. 11.University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenNetherlands
  12. 12.International Psoriasis CouncilSt. LouisUSA
  13. 13.Dermatology Research and Education FoundationIrvineUSA
  14. 14.Department of Dermatology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant PauUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  15. 15.Department of Dermatology, Manchester Academic Health Science Center, Salford Royal Hospital (Hope)The University of ManchesterSalfordUK

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