- Remicade is taken for autoimmune disorders.
- What was never done with Remicade’s FDA approval was to evaluate any cost-benefit for this drug.
Remicade has significant side effects for improvement against autoimmune diseases. It also comes high costs and exaggerated benefits. This article will begin by discussing its financial costs and then move into covering its cost-benefit relationship.
The Remicade Cost
Remicade is an expensive drug and is administered by healthcare professionals. Generally, in the US Remicade is around $30,000 per year.
How Effective is Remicade Versus Autoimmune Diseases?
Studies of the effectiveness of Humira — which is very similar to Remicade in clinical trials are covered in the article by Medical News Today.
Autoimmune Disease #1: Effectiveness For Ulcerative Colitis
Effectiveness for ulcerative colitis
Remicade was studied in adults with moderate to severe UC that was active. These people had either tried or were currently taking other drugs for UC called immunosuppressants.
In clinical studies, researchers wanted to see if Remicade was better than a placebo at causing symptoms to go into remission. In one study, 18.5% of people who took Remicade had symptom remission after 8 weeks, compared with 9.2% of people who took a placebo.
This is an improvement of (18.5-9.2) or 9.3 percentage points.
A similar study found that 16.5% of people who took Remicade had symptom remission after 8 weeks, compared with 9.3% of people who took a placebo. At 52 weeks, 8.5% of people who took Remicade were still in symptom remission, compared with 4.1% of people who took a placebo.
This is a 7.2 percentage point and 4.4% percentage point improvement, respectively.
Study results in children
Remicade was studied in children ages 5 years and older with moderate to severe UC that was active. The children had already tried or were currently taking certain other drugs for UC. These drugs included corticosteroids, an immunomodulator, or a TNF blocker.
In clinical studies, researchers looked at whether certain dosages of Remicade were better than a placebo at causing remission of UC symptoms. After 8 weeks of treatment, 60% of children who took the recommended dosage of Remicade experienced remission. Also, 43% of children who took a lower Remicade dosage experienced remission of their symptoms.
This is a 17 percentage point improvement.
After a total of 52 weeks of treatment, 45% of children who took the recommended Remicade dosage experienced remission of their UC symptoms. This is compared to 29% of children who took a lower Remicade dosage, and 33% of children who took a placebo.
This is a 12% percentage point improvement versus the placebo.
Autoimmune Disease #2: Effectiveness For Crohn’s Disease
In clinical studies, people with CD were treated with either Remicade (at various doses) or a placebo. Researchers found that 21% to 36% of people who took Remicade had a CD remission by week 4. This is compared with 7% to 12% of people who took a placebo.
This is an improvement of between 14 percentage points and 24 percentage points.