If you have ulcerative colitis, there’s a new type of drug that you may want to become familiar with: biosimilars.
Biosimilars are a type of biologic
, a category of drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, since 1999. When used for treating ulcerative colitis, biologics work by neutralizing a protein produced by the body’s immune system.
Biosimilars, while a type of biologic drug, are referred to by a different name because although they are modeled after existing biologics, they are not identical to them.
Biosimilars are like generic drugs, but with a key difference: The active ingredient in generic drugs is identical to that of the name-brand drugs they’re modeled after. Biosimilars aren’t exact copies of their originator drugs. Instead, as their name implies, they highly resemble the original drug.