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Biosimilars news

Biosimilars Canada has compiled a list of news stories from Canada and abroad about biosimilars that may be of interest to readers. These links to third-party websites are provided for informational purposes only, and do represent an endorsement from our organization. Biosimilars Canada’s statements and news releases are available here.

British Columbia switching Rituxan rituximab patients to biosimilars

About 1,600 B.C. PharmaCare patients who take the drug Rituxan rituximab will have six months to switch to a rituximab biosimilar. The $30.7 million saved over three years will be reinvested into patient care.

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The importance of countering biosimilar disparagement and misinformation

Biosimilars are not always well understood by healthcare professionals and patients. The knowledge gap is exacerbated by disparagement of biosimilars and dissemination of misinformation, whether intentional or otherwise. A new report in BioDrugs outlines several different types of disparagement and misinformation directed against biosimilars, and highlights the need to counter it through balanced educational outreach across stakeholders, appropriate regulatory oversight, and the use of enforcement powers already granted to government agencies.

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Biosimilar transitioning: A private payor’s journey

Pacific Blue Cross has prepared a poster for the CADTH Symposium which outlines their experience in aligning with B.C. PharmaCare's Biosimilars Initiative. 99% of plan sponsors opted to transition fully and up to $22 million in drug costs were avoided.

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Biosimilars savings opportunity not fully realized

Biologics in Canada, 2018, a two-part chart book published by the PMPRB notes that “biosimilars offer an excellent opportunity for significant cost savings; but this is a complex market space, and these potential savings have yet to be fully realized.” Biologics in Canada on. The PMPRB report estimates that if the uptake of biosimilars in Canada had matched the OECD median average at current prices in 2018, Canada’s savings from biosimilars would have increased from an estimated $94 million to $346 million.

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The efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of switching between reference biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars: A systematic review

This American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics review found there have been at least 178 clinical trials worldwide involving approximately 21,000 switched patients which confirm that switching from an originator biologic drug to a biosimilar biologic drug is not associated with any major efficacy, safety, or immunogenicity issues.

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Shifting biosimilar access policies to promote fiscal sustainability in the Canadian healthcare system.

DIA’s Global Forum featured an article on Canada’s biosimilar switching policies.

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