FDA Approves Rituxan Biosimilar, Truxima, To Treat Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

What is a biosimilar?

A biosimilar is technically the “generic” version of a biologic (a medication made from a living organism). However, because biologics are made out of living cells, they are impossible to replicate exactly. Biosimilars are less expensive versions of their reference biologic drugs, but the two aren’t interchangeable like generic drugs and their brand-name counterparts are.

You can read more about biologics and biosimilars here.

What is Truxima for?

Truxima is the first biosimilar approved in the US for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While brand-name Rituxan is approved to treat six different conditions, generic Truxima is only approved to treat the one.

How much will Truxima cost?

Celltrion Healthcare recently announced Truxima’s approval but did not discuss the drug’s price. However, biosimilars usually cost around 15% to 30% less than their biologic reference drug. So, expect a discount from Rituxan.

How should I take Truxima?

Truxima will be available available in a single dose vial in two strengths: 100mg/10ml and 500mg/50ml. You will not be able to get get Truxima at your local pharmacy as your doctor will need to administer it through an intravenous infusion.

What are the most common side effects of Truxima?

Common side effects of Truxima include fever, infusion reactions, abnormally low levels of lymphocytes, chills, infection and weakness.

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