Cheap rituximab from India; cheap rituximab biosimilars & non-originator biologics ($380 for 500 mg)

Remy

Administrator
Another fantastic post by @Hip!

(If you'd rather post this yourself or wish for it not to be posted here, please let me know and I can delete this post...)

The original version of rituximab made by Roche (a Swiss pharmaceutical company) is sold under the brand names of Rituxan and MabThera. These are identical products made by Roche, but with different brand names. The cost of MabThera is around $1,300 (pharmplexdirect.com price) to $3,000 for 500 mg (goldpharma.com price). In the US, rituximab prices can be higher than this.

However, for the Indian market, Roche sell their rituximab under brand names Ristova and Ikgdar, and although these are identical to Rituxan/MabThera, the prices of Ristova and Ikgdar are much lower, around $600 for 500 mg.

In addition, India and several other countries produce cheaper biosimilar copies of rituximab (or non-originator biologic copies), such as the Mabtas rituximab, which costs around $380 for 500 mg. Biosimilars are the biopharmaceuticalequivalent of generic drugs.

Here is a list of various rituximab types that are available (prices given are for 500 mg of rituximab):
Original Rituximab Made By Roche:

Rituxan (Roche)
MabThera (Roche) $1,300 to $3,000

Rituxan and MabThera are different brand names for the same Roche product

Ristova (Roche) $600
Ikgdar
(Roche) $570

Ristova and Ikgdar are cut price versions of Roche's Rituxan for sale in India. Ristova and Ikgdar are made by Roche and are identical to Rituxan, but packaged locally by Emcure Pharmaceuticals in India.


Biosimilar Rituximab:

Truxima (Celltrion, Korea) — Not yet available, expected to receive marketing authorization in 2017

Biosimilars are copies of the original product (Roche's Rituxan in this case) whose efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in studies to be the same as the original product, and have received regulatory approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).


Non-Originator Biologics Rituximab:

Mabtas (Intas Pharmaceuticals, India) $380
Maball
(Hetero Group, India) $400
Cytomab
(Alkem Laboratories, India) $470
Reditux
(Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, India) $600
RituxiRel
(Torrent Pharmaceuticals, India) $630
Toritz
(Torrent Pharmaceuticals, India) — RituxiRel and Toritz are different brand names for the same product
Novex (Laboratorio Elea, Argentina)
Kikuzubam (Probiomed, Mexico)
AcellBia (Biocad, Russia)

Non-originator biologics are copies of the original product that have been approved for use, but whose efficacy and safety have not yet been validated against the original product.​
Is it feasible to buy these cheaper rituximab products from India? I am not sure. I contacted www.1mg.com, an Indian online pharmacy that stocks several of these rituximab products, asking them whether they could dispatch them to the US or UK. They told me that at present, they do not sell pharmaceuticals to the international market (but may do in future). I could not find any other online Indian pharmacies selling rituximab.

The next cheapest alternative I am aware of is the MabThera rituximab for sale at around $1,300 at pharmplexdirect.com, which is a UK-based online pharmacy that ships internationally (requires a UK/EU prescription). Thanks to @eljefe19 for finding this source.

Note that I understand rituximab must be stored at temperatures between 2ºC and 8ºC, so any pharmacy suppling rituximab would I think need to ship it in a cold pack. A cold pack (basically a gel ice pack, placed inside a box with a good 2 inches of expanded polystyrene thermal insulation) can maintain these sort of temperature for 24 to 48 hours during shipping.



More Info:

List of rituximab brands and rituximab biosimilars brands, with dollar prices:
Rituximab generic. Price of rituximab

List of rituximab biosimilars and non-originator biologicals:
Generics and Biosimilars Initiative

Latest info on rituximab biosimilars:
Rituximab Biosimilar News
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
It's fine by me, @Remy. Glad you like it. The PR forum version is here.
Wow - very impressive detective work HIP. Good to know that prices are dropping...and good for people in India to know it's available at lower prices. Good news.
 
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Vansails

Member
that's cool. i'm consulting dr chheda on skype soon, and was thinking of asking her if i could ship rituximab from a cheaper source to her clinic for use if she let's me go ahead and thinks i am strong enough to undertake the medication. because of my severe depression, depersonalization and quality of life of a moderate to severe sufferer, (minor case of severe ME)

so i'm asking her to help me in a limited time i'm giving myself. a vagus nerve stimulator is also my plan and i'm searching for someone to do the implant. where i live, the already extreme prices have gone up 300% in the last decade, so there's that. but my parents worked soooo hard to afford such a place, i feel awful if we would lose it, but i heard them fighting the other day about keeping me alive vs living in a retirement home. not that they can retire, even at their age.

anyways, back on topic, i obviously cannot get a uk/eu perscription unless dr. chheda somehow has people she can reach out to for it. but then they could charge me a lot for the infusions.

does anyone know the estimated cost of rituximab down in the OMI/new clinic ? i will know in a week on skype. i'm scared to know, but have a rough idea.
 

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