Binocrit & Retacrit

Two new erythropoietins are available for the treatment of anaemia in patients with chronic renal disease.

Binocrit (epoetin alfa) and Retacrit (epoetin zeta) are both biosimilar products, that is, new biological products that have been developed to be similar to existing or ‘reference’ biological products – in this instance both are similar to Eprex (epoetin alfa).

Biological products are fundamentally different from standard chemical products in terms of their complexity, and it is unlikely that the biosimilar product will have an identical structure to that of the reference product, thereby requiring evidence of safety and efficacy before approval.

The MHRA has advised that it is good practice to use the brand name when prescribing biological products. This will ensure that automatic substitution of a biosimilar product does not occur when the medicine is dispensed by the pharmacist.

View Binocrit drug record

View Retacrit drug record

Further information: Sandoz; Hospira

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