B.C.’s Approach To Biosimilars Can Improve Patient Care
The Canadian Biosimilars Forum commends the Government of British Columbia for taking a decisive step toward enhancing patient care by implementing a one-time transition of patients currently using a reference biologic to a biosimilar in consultation with their doctors, expanding treatment options for patients and their physicians across the province.
Through this policy move, we believe B.C. will secure significant savings that could be reinvested in expanding access to existing therapies and accelerating access to new medicines.
A Win for Patients in B.C.
Although biologics have changed the lives of tens of thousands of Canadians, spending on biologics represents a large share of overall healthcare spending. Biologics now represent 35.5% of total brand prescription sales in Canada, including 7 out of the top 10 pharmaceuticals - even though many biologics have lost market exclusivity.
B.C. – A Model for Canada
Health Canada says that “patients and health care providers can have the same confidence in the quality, safety and efficacy of a biosimilar as any other biologic drug” – and now B.C. has designed a comprehensive, inclusive and responsible approach to enhancing access to biosimilars:
B.C. is working closely with physicians and pharmacists to manage the transition;
B.C is providing health care professionals with extensive tools and resources to educate and counsel their patients; and
B.C. is leveraging the savings from adoption of biosimilars to expand access to existing drugs and accelerate access to new drugs.
Towards A Viable and Sustainable Biosimilars Market
Despite the range of benefits biosimilars offer, the uptake of biosimilars in Canada continues to be slow. With B.C. leading the way, the Canadian Biosimilars Forum believes that Canada has a clear path to capturing the clinical and economic benefits that only a long-term, sustainable biosimilars industry can provide.
From the Government of British Columbia:
From the Forum:
With B.C. leading the way, the Canadian Biosimilars Forum believes that Canada has a clear path to capturing the clinical and economic benefits that only a long-term, sustainable biosimilars industry can provide.