Pfizer announced the launch of Retacrit (epoetin alfa-epbx) injection, the first available biosimilar to Procrit (epoetin alfa; Janssen Biotech) and Epogen (epoetin alfa; Amgen). 

Retacrit is indicated to treat anemia due to: 

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients on dialysis and not on dialysis
  • Zidovudine in patients with HIV-1 infection
  • The effects of concomitant myelosuppressive chemotherapy, within at least 2 months of chemotherapy planned upon initiation 

In addition, Retacrit is indicated for the reduction of allogeneic red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in patients undergoing elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery. 

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Retacrit initially received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2018. Human pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic data and clinical immunogenicity data demonstrated a high degree of similarity between Retacrit and its reference product. 

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Retacrit carries a Boxed Warning regarding the increased risk of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, venous thromboembolism, thrombosis of vascular access, and tumor progression or recurrence associated with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). A Medication Guide that provides information on the uses and risks associated with Retacrit is required when the product is dispensed.

Retacrit will be priced 57.1% below the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) of Procrit and 33.5% below the WAC of Epogen, at $11.03 per 1000 Units/mL. It is available as 2000 Units/mL, 3000 Units/mL, 4000 Units/mL, and 10,000 Units/mL in 1mL single-dose vials in 10-count cartons. It is also available as 40,000 Units/mL single-dose vials in 4- and 10-count cartons.

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This article originally appeared on MPR