Glatopa, a generic form of Copaxone, is as effective as the brand-name medication in terms of disease outcomes and has similar healthcare-related costs in real-world use in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), a new U.S. study suggests.
Data also suggest a trend toward lower relapse rates with Glatopa compared with Copaxone treatment.
The study, “Multiple sclerosis relapse rates and healthcare costs of two versions of glatiramer acetate,” was published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion. Researchers at Sandoz, the Novartis company that manufactures Glatopa, were involved in the work.
Both Copaxone (marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical) and Glatopa are forms of glatiramer acetate injection, a treatment for clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and active secondary progressive MS (SPMS). It is believed to work by decreasing the activity of immune cells that cause nervous system damage.
Researchers investigated the health outcomes and cost impact of switching MS patients from the brand to generic glatiramer acetate injection.
They did so by analyzing insurance claim data from the U.S. HealthCore Integrated Research Database, covering 2013 to 2018.
In total, 158 people treated with 20 mg Glatopa once daily were matched, in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics, to 158 people using Copaxone at 20 mg once a day. Most (92%) in the Glatopa group had originally been on Copaxone; the mean age of these people was 49.9, and 75% were female.
The average follow-up time was 251 days (about 8.3 months) in both groups. Of the 158 Glatopa patients, 70 (44%) switched back to Copaxone (20 mg or 40 mg) during follow-up — their data, and the data of their matched individuals in the Copaxone group, were censored at the time of switching, meaning they were no longer part of the analysis.
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