In the News
The Forum aims to serve as a credible resource for evidence-based information regarding biosimilars. As part of our work in this area, we have collated the news stories found here. By posting these links, the Forum is not indicating our endorsement or support but simply providing a range of third party updates and articles. To learn more about the positions of the Canadian Biosimilars Forum itself, please refer to our Forum Positions.
July 24, 2019
Health Canada taking 'corrective measures' with pharmaceutical company over pharma ads
Health Canada is taking action to rebut a major pharmaceutical company’s criticism of a B.C. policy shift that will make the province the first to stop covering some expensive, formerly patented biologic drugs in favour of less-expensive “biosimilars”. Health Canada said it has no concerns about the B.C. policy and there are no differences expected between the categories of drugs when it comes to safety and effectiveness.
July 19, 2019
Biosimilar drugs a boon to be applauded as they provide equivalent treatment at – sometimes – half the price
To keep drug plans sustainable, we at Green Shield Canada, along with other public (provincial health plan) and private (health insurer) payors, manage lists of drugs that are eligible for reimbursement. These decisions are extremely difficult to make. Sometimes though, a confluence of factors comes together in incredibly fortuitous ways – scientific progress marries marketplace access and our collective job gets easier. That happened in 2014, when Health Canada approved Inflectra, defined as a biosimilar drug to originator Remicade, which was used to treat conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
July 3, 2019
B.C. leads North America into next generation of biologic therapy
As B.C.-based healthcare professionals and patient educators who are on the frontline of arthritis treatment and care in B.C., we want to respond with the facts about biosimilars and the experience in B.C.
May 27, 2019
Canadian Biosimilars Forum Applauds B.C. Government's Landmark Decision to Enhance Adoption of Biosimilars and Calls on Remaining Provinces to Follow
The Canadian Biosimilars Forum today commends the Government of British Columbia(B.C.) for taking a decisive step toward enhancing patient care by implementing well-controlled, one-time transitions of those patients currently using a reference biologic drug to its biosimilar.
May 21, 2019
Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) Releases Updated Position Statement on Biosimilars
The updated statement “encourages rheumatologists to provide the best care for individual patients and be fiscally responsible for the benefit of society as a whole. Rheumatologists should consider choosing the most cost-effective product when there is a choice available between an originator biologic and a biosimilar and must be mindful of cost savings.”
April 15, 2019
Diverging from US, Canada Approves Biosimilar Rituximab in Both Oncology and Rheumatology Indications
Through Health Canada's rigorous process, a new biosimilar is approved for for the treatment of adults with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
March 19, 2019
Structural Market Changes Needed in U.S. to Achieve Cost-Savings from Biosimilars - Lessons from Europe’s Biosimilars Successes: Payer, Physician, and Patient Alignment Will Lower Costs, Increase Access to Biosimilars
The Biosimilars Forum and Medicines for Europe released a joint white paper that discusses how Europe has successfully sustained its multi-source biosimilars market for the past 10 years. The Forum also suggests that the United States make structural changes in order to achieve similar success.
February 16, 2019
Hundred of millions of dollars could be saved by using biosimilar medications
As three healthcare professionals and a patient educator who are on the frontline of arthritis treatment and care in British Columbia, we want to respond to an op-ed a week ago from the executive director of a U.S.-based alliance of pharmaceutical industry, physicians and patient members regarding a new advanced treatment for chronic disease patients.
February 14, 2019
Health Canada Notice to Stakeholders - Policy Statement on the Naming of Biologic Drugs
Following internal and external stakeholder consultations and analysis of related issues, Health Canada has decided that biologic drugs, including biosimilars, will be identified by their unique brand name and non-proprietary (common) name, without the addition of a product-specific suffix.
December 1, 2018
Green Shield Canada’s Biosimilar Transition Program Completes a Successful Pilot
Earlier this year Green Shield Canada (GSC) introduced our Biosimilar Transition Program, which we piloted with three of our plan sponsors through the summer and into the fall of 2018. The pilot is now complete, and following its success, we’re pleased to offer this innovative program to all GSC plan sponsors.
October 25, 2018
CADTH Report on International Policies on the Appropriate Use of Biosimilar Drugs
Public payers and regulators can help manage the use of biosimilars by providing guidance and policies on matters of interchangeability, substitutability, prescribing (tiering, switching), pricing, and tendering. This Environmental Scan will provide examples of international post-market policies, programs, and other strategies that have been established to guide the uptake of biosimilars and to promote their appropriate and cost-effective use.
July 18, 2018
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., delivers an address at the Brookings Institution on the release of the FDA’s Biosimilars Action Plan
"Our ability to build a market for safe, effective biosimilar products is key for patients and our nation’s health care system. It’s a key to promoting access and reducing health care costs. And it’s a key to advancing public health. But I’m worried that the market for these products still isn’t established. The ability for these products to penetrate clinical practice, and gain acceptance, is still not firm."
June 28, 2018
The Ontario Rheumatology Association Board of Directors publishes official position statement on non-medical switching
The ORA recognizes that non-medical switching from innovator to biosimilar biologic medications with approved indications for patients with rheumatic disease is safe and has the potential to save health care system resources. The ORA’s support for non-medical switching is based on the following principles: 1. Switching results in no incremental cost borne by patients; 2. There are demonstrable cost savings to the health system.
June 28, 2018
Study Shows Association Between Health Literacy and Patient Satisfaction With Switching to Biosimilar
Research presented at the European League Against Rheumatism’s Annual European Congress of Rheumatology concluded that patients’ attitudes and level of satisfaction with switching to a biosimilar was associated with being given sufficient and necessary information concerning their health.
June 20, 2018
What's Holding Back Market Uptake Of Biosimilars in the US?
In the U.S., nine patents for the top 20 selling biologics are set to expire by 2020. Given that biosimilars are cheaper than the originator biologics, more use of biosimilars will lead to cost savings. But, thus far biosimilars have failed to gain widespread traction.
June 18, 2018
Rising biosimilar uptake touted amid ‘continuously evolving’ evidence for safety, efficacy
Canada could save an estimated $280 million a year in drug costs if biosimilar uptake here reached the levels seen in Norway, a speaker told attendees at a recent event in Calgary.
March 8, 2018
Green Shield Canada announces their biosimilar transition program
In keeping with their commitment to provide innovative solutions in pharmacy benefit management, GSC is taking
the management of biosimilar drug products a step further than their previous listing as preferred products and has introduced the Biosimilar Transition Program.
March 5, 2018
Systematic Literature Review Shows Low Risk of Safety Concerns or Loss of Efficacy After Switching to a Biosimilar
In an effort to evaluate whether switching from a reference biologic to a biosimilar could lead to altered clinical outcomes—such as enhanced immunogenicity, compromised safety, or reduced efficacy—a research team, led by Hillel Cohen, PhD, conducted a systematic literature review of all available switching studies.
February 13, 2018
Revisions to CADTH’s Biosimilar and Resubmission Processes
Based on the feedback received and given their experience reviewing biosimilars, CADTH has revised their process to reduce duplication of work, optimize resources, and facilitate decision-making for biosimilars for all participating jurisdictions.
November 27, 2017
Canadian physicians more familiar with biosimilars but still lack understanding: survey
Canadian physicians are becoming more familiar with biosimilars, according to a new survey by the U.S.-based Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines, but we’re seeing a lot of hesitancy and lack of understanding among physicians when it comes to using biosimilars.
June 6, 2017
Summary report of the IHE Biosimilars Forum
Towards a framework for biosimilar evidence and knowledge exchange, the summary report from the Institute for Health Economics Biosimilars Forum, identifies options to categorize and consider biosimilars, stakeholder engagement processes, and approaches to knowledge exchange.
April 23, 2017
The Institute of Health Economics Biosimilars Invitational Forum 2017
IHE held the Biosimilars Invitational Forum 2017, entitled Towards a Framework for Biosimilar Evidence & Knowledge Exchange, as a satellite to the 2017 Annual Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) Symposium.
October 11, 2016
New Canadian Forum Calls for Better Access to Biosimilar Medicines to Improve Health Care.
A new Canadian alliance of drug manufacturers – the Canadian Biosimilars Forum -- issued a call today to both policy makers and health system leaders to embrace the opportunity that biosimilars represent to both patients and to Canadian health care.