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For the first time, a pricey biologic now has more than one lower-cost biosimilar to fend off, a development that should usher in long-awaited savings for the overburdened U.S. health care system.

On Monday, Merck and Samsung Bioepis launched their biosimilar version of Remicade, a blockbuster treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, among other ailments. The launch was sooner than Wall Street expected, but after months of anticipation, we finally know the pricing — a 35 percent discount to the brand-name biologic, which is marketed in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson.

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