Use of biosimilars in inflammatory bowel disease: Statements of the Italian Group for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Vito Annese, Maurizio Vecchi, Fabrizio Bossa, Emma Calabrese, Marco Daperno, Fernando Rizzello, Antonio Rispo, Simone Saibeni, Alessandro Armuzzi, Livia Biancone, Fabiana Castiglione, Michele Comberlato, Salvatore Cucchiara, Silvio Danese, Renata D'Incà, Gionata Fiorino, Walter Fries, Paolo Gionchetti, Anna Kohn, Giovanni LatellaGimmy Meucci, Ambrogio Orlando, Claudio Papi, Beatrice Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The introduction of biological therapies, particularly anti-TNFα agents, has revolutionized the management of inflammatory bowel disease in those cases which are refractory to conventional treatment; however these drugs are not risk-free and their use has substantially increased the cost of treatment. As marketing protection expires for original, first-generation biopharmaceuticals, lower-cost "copies" of these drugs produced by competitor companies-referred to as biosimilars-are already entering the market. In September 2013, the European Medicines Agency approved two infliximab biosimilars for treatment of adult and paediatric inflammatory bowel disease patients, a decision based largely on efficacy and safety data generated in studies of patients with ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. For many clinicians, extrapolation practices and the general question of interchangeability between biosimilars and reference biologics are cause for concern. In the present paper, the Italian Group for inflammatory bowel disease presents its statements on these issues, with emphasis on the peculiar clinical characteristics of inflammatory bowel disease and the importance of providing physicians and patients with adequate information and guarantees on the safety and efficacy of these new drugs in the specific setting of inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-968
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Anti-TNFα
  • Biosimilars
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology
  • Medicine(all)


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