Switching between different granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs) within the first year of treatment may be frequent, according to an Italian population study published in BioDrugs.1

Researchers led by Ilaria Marcianò, MD, of the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico “G. Martino” in Italy, conducted a retrospective, population-based drug utilization study of 30 247 patients treated with G-CSFs across 5 Italian centers from the years 2009 to 2014; 29 083 of the patients were naïve users.

They found that the overall prevalence of G-CSF use had increased from 0.8 per 1000 inhabitants in 2009 to 1.1 per 1000 in 2014. They observed an increase in the proportion of the use of the biosimilar filgrastim across all G-CSF users, from 0.2% in 2009 to 66.2% in 2014.

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Additionally, they found that 20.3% of patients switched between different G-CSFs during the first year of treatment.

“Considering the impact of biological drugs on pharmaceutical expenses, it is necessary to harmonize health care policies promoting the use of biological drugs with the lowest cost,” the authors concluded.


  1. Marcianò I, Ingrasciotta Y, Giorianni F, et al. How did the Introduction of Biosimilar Filgrastim Influence the Prescribing Pattern of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factors? Results from a Multicentre, Population-Based Study, from Five Italian Centres in the Years 2009–2014  [published online ahead of print May 2, 2016]. BioDrugs. doi: 10.​1007/​s40259-016-0175-4.