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What is the difference between Retacrit and Epogen?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 9, 2022.

Official answer


Retacrit (epoetin alfa-epbx) is a biosimilar to Epogen (epoetin alfa).

A biosimilar is a biological product that is highly similar to a biologic already approved by the FDA (known as the reference product) and has no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, purity and potency from the reference product, in addition to meeting other criteria specified by law.

Retacrit cannot be interchanged with Epogen at the pharmacy level; the physician must specifically order Retacrit.

Retacrit (epoetin alfa-epbx), from Hospira, and Epogen, (epoetin alfa), from Amgen, are both erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) used to help improve red blood cell production.

Both Retacrit and Epogen are approved for treatment of anemia caused by chronic kidney disease, chemotherapy, use of zidovudine in patients with HIV, and before and after surgery to reduce the chance that red blood cell transfusions will be needed because of blood loss during surgery. Biosimilars can provide more cost effective treatment options for patients.

Retacrit is also a biosimilar to Procrit.

Learn More: What Are Biosimilars? Top Facts You May Not Know

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