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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Switched to Erelzi

Has anyone else being prescribed Erelzi? If yes, have you had good success? Any feedback or sharing of how you are doing would be great.
I was on Enbrel but made the switch due to the government no longer funding Enbrel in November. I was having an increase in daily pain and flares so made the switch early in hopes that the change may be positive. Unfortunately I’ve had major stomach issues, along with other side effects since changing almost a month ago. I just saw my Rheumatologist and am switching back to Enbrel until November and then we will revisit treatment at that time.
Thanks,
Tara

Hi TaraLynn…

I’m curious…I see you’re from California. You mentioned your government will no longer be funding Enbrel in November. What funding is that? The Enbrel Support program? I’m from Minnesota and haven’t heard anything about this, so I’m kind of concerned as I take Enbrel, too.

I know Medicare doesn’t pay for Enbrel, so I’m delaying retirement for that reason. Is that your situation? Sorry if I’m sounding nosey, but if this affects the rest of us in America with private insurance and the Enbrel Support program, where do we get more info?

Thanks, and good luck! It’s so sad if Enbrel worked well for you and you had to switch to Erelzi! IDK why the biologics have to be so expensive!

I’m in Canada and I’m thinking this is a Canadian thing…
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare/patient-info-etanercept_final.pdf

It’s also a UK thing too. Most now have been switched to biosimilars. And those starting out on a biologic journey are given biosimilars from the start, like me.

Sadly I’m hearing too many stories from those that switch to the biosimilar from the patented drug don’t seem to do as well as they were doing on the original drug.

Of course being the nature of the beast that’s forums etc, it’s more likely we hear of problems rather than sucesses too. I hope the switch back works for you.

@Poo_therapy true we probably hear about the failures more than the successes, but it seems we hear more failures of biosimilars than the real thing. I wonder what the test results of Erelzi or other biosimilars are compared to the biologic they are copying?
In the document @TaraLynn shared, it says people who are being treated for psoriasis can remain on Enbrel. Who the **HE****makes these decisions??? How do they think psoriasis is worse than psoriatic arthritis??? Ugh! I hate my psoriasis, and at this point mine is getting to the point that it would qualify alone for a biologic (I’m on Enbrel, but having increasing problems with psoriasis)…but I’d way rather put up with my psoriasis than have PsA pain!!!

I don’t know who tests them but I’m assured they have been tested. They really are though as similar as can be, science wise. Benepali (biosimilar to Enbrel) did work for me but not consistently. Imraldi (biosimilar to Humira) is working for me but is much tougher to endure for the rest of me. But possibly I could have had the same reactions had I started on Enbrel and then switched to Humira, we’ll never know.

I do believe the cheaper biosimilars promote easier access to loads more people and that has to be good. Mind you in the UK the rule still is ‘fail two DMARDs first’ but I’m sensing people are getting through DMARDs faster now than they used to. Me being a case in point.

I haven’t looked at the document about staying on Enbrel if you have psoriasis yet. But that doesn’t make sense to me either.

But @Grandma_J whatever is going with your psoriasis, what is your dermatologist saying? Please keep treating your psoriasis. I remain eternally grateful all my psoraisis disappeared altogether when I badly fractured my shoulder 20 years ago now and well before PsA ever hit me. Despite everything since, I basically still have none but the teeniest patch on one elbow every now and again, maybe once a year and it goes with extra moisturising. I do have incidences of inverse psoriasis more frequently but that goes with nappy/diaper cream.

Now if I could only sort out the bowel and mood issues Imraldi appears to be giving me, I’d be one very happy bunny.

I haven’t had the experience, though was talking to my rheum the other day, and he said that most of them have slightly better results than the original biologic, though acknowledged that just because a biologic works for you doesn’t mean it’s biosimilar will (though they usually do). He has no desire to switch me from biologic to biosimilar at this stage - he’s actually pretty cranky with the biosimilar companies as the discount on the biosimilars just doesn’t seem to be enough…

When I saw the difference in ‘average’ costs in the UK, between costs of originals and biosimilars, there are simply huge savings NHS wise but, I was with your rheumy that it possibly should have been even greater. However for our NHS, biosimilars are significantly reducing costs, and that has to be good.

One would imagine insurers in other countries who do fund this treatment would also gain significant reductions too with the remote possibility of, dare I say, reducing premiums. But don’t mind me I’m a mere optimist, which sadly isn’t often that rational a thing to be.

And let’s see how much chaos Brexit causes, supply chain wise, whichever way it happens, has on things…

We persist in living in interesting times.

Interesting, so I could remain on Enbrel for my Psoriasis. I believe the plan in November is to switch to Humira or whatever bio similar is replacing Humira.