Nocebo effect and biosimilars in inflammatory bowel diseases: what's new and what's next?

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2020 Sep 6;1-9. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2020.1817374.Online ahead of print.

Ferdinando D'Amico 1 2, Virginia Solitano 1, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet 2, Silvio Danese 1 3


Author information

  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Pieve Emanuele , Milan, Italy.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology and Inserm NGERE U1256, University Hospital of Nancy, University of Lorraine, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy , France.
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, IBD Center, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center - IRCCS, Rozzano , Milan, Italy.


Introduction: The use of biosimilars for the treatment of patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) showed to be a valid strategy to reduce the economic burden of biologics on health-care costs and to increase patient access to treatment. However, the nocebo effect constitutes an important limitation to the wide use of biosimilars.

Areas covered: We conducted a literature overview to summarize information on nocebo effect in IBD population and to provide physicians with practical key strategies to prevent the nocebo effect in daily clinical practice and to improve patients' outcomes.

Expert opinion: Despite the proven efficacy and safety of biosimilars, further clinical studies are needed to define the effects of reverse and multiple switches in the management of patients with IBD. The development of new subcutaneous formulations, better accepted by patients, could contribute to reduce patients' negative expectations, and limit the nocebo effect.

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