Merck discounts Remicade by 25% in the U.K.

October 26, 2015 6:34 AM


Merck & Co., known as Merck Sharp & Dohme outside US, decided to drop the price of Remicade (infliximab) by 25 percent in the United Kingdom, Bloomberg reports.

During an interview on Thursday, Merck’s Medical Affairs Director Colin Wheeler said that, the company is offering 48 million pounds in discounts and rebates to the U.K.’s National Health Service on the basis of about 191 million pounds in Remicade sales.

Colin Wheeler added that, this compares with discounts of about 20 percent to 30 percent to the Remicade price offered by Napp Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Pfizer Inc.’s Hospira unit, which market a biosimilar manufactured by South Korea’s Celltrion Inc.

Merck previously declared that, due to the biosimilar launch, the company has lost 25 percent of Remicade sales in the second quarter this year. Biosimilar infliximab is sold under different brand names by different companies around the globe and it was developed by South Korean company Celltrion.

Due to the high competition, there were important price reductions of infliximab prices (up to 69%), especially in Nordic countries. Also NICE, recently recommended biosimilar infliximab ahead of Remicade in the U.K. Biosimilar infliximab is still under review by the FDA in the United States.

UPDATED: Napp spokesman said a statement that, the discounts quoted for their product, Remsima, are incorrect. He said, Remsima is being made available to the NHS at discounts of 40 – 50% over the list price of Remicade, depending on the price agreed with each tendering region across the UK. He added, Napp has not included Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) repayments in their discount numbers for Remsima as these are not returned directly to local NHS organisations, but if they were included, then the savings currently available to the NHS would be between 50 and 60%.


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