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Benepali (Etanercept)

PolgaraPolgara Posts: 4
edited 31. Jul 2016, 07:06 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello Everyone,
I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly 13 years. Diagnosed in 2003/4, having had various treatments over the years.
Recently I have received a letter from my NHS Trust asking if I would change from Enbrel (Etanercept) to Benepali. Enbrel has and is working brilliantly for me. My last DAS score was 1.74. I am on only a small dose of steroids, but nothing else.
My questions is does anyone have any information or experience of this new drug Benepali?

Comments

  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,082 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Polgara

    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes
    Mod Christine
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Polgara, I cannot help as such (me and Enbrel were never friends) and I have not heard of benepali. You say that your hospital has asked if you 'would' change: if you are happy as you are then I believe that you are under no obligation to make them happy. Being the cynic I am I wonder if this medication is cheaper than Enbrel? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • theresaktheresak Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm not on enbrel myself, but a friend of mine has recently had the same letter. Benepali is what's called a ' biosimilar ,' which does the same job as enbrel - in theory anyway. They've come into use as because of something to do with the patent for enbrel now no longer binding, they are allowed to use a similar drug. That's my understanding, but I believe the biosimilars are indeed cheaper.

    My friend has just taken delivery of her first batch, but has her supply of enbrel to use first.

    I'm currently on humira ( adalimumab ) and at some point expect to be switched to a biosimilar.

    Do you have a rheumy nurse you could discuss this with?
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've never heard of benepali but what theresak says makes absolute sense. The biologic drugs' patents are now running out which means they can be manufactured generically and therefore more cheaply as the patents are the drugs' manufacturers' way of recovering the money they spent on developing the drugs in the first place. It's the same thing as voltarol v diclofenac and panadol v paracetamol.

    Biologic meds are very expensive so it's understandable that the NHS will be wanting to move patients on to cheaper versions. On the other hand you have a med that works for you and, arthritically speaking, that's a very big thing. As DD pointed out, you have been asked, not told to change. I would, personally, be reluctant unless I was given the option of going straight back on to the original if the biosimilar didn't work as well.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Popsmith1874Popsmith1874 Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    moderator wrote:
    Hello Benipali

    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes
    Mod Christine
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