Health Canada is requiring a pharmaceutical company to take “corrective measures” regarding ads that criticize B.C.’s biosimilar initiative and misrepresents the regulator’s position on biosimilar switching. Health Canada took the action following a complaint by Biosimilars Canada.
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.
Biosimilar drugs a boon to be applauded as they provide equivalent treatment at – sometimes – half the price
Not-for-profit private insurer Green Shield Canada weighs in on the tremendous opportunity biosimilars present for Canadians. “Biosimilars - drugs that are nearly identical to the original product, but produced by a different company – are a rarity in health care: An opportunity to provide patients with a treatment that works just as well, but at – sometimes – half the price. The decision to embrace biosimilars is not a difficult one – it’s just logical.”
Healthcare professionals and patient educators who are on the frontline of arthritis treatment and care in British Columbia provide facts about biosimilars and their experience in the province.
Twenty-nine leading regulatory authorities, including Health Canada, have issued a statement confirming patients and clinicians can have confidence in biosimilars. The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) statement notes that have been used safely for many years, and confirms that regulators have not identified any important differences in side effects between biosimilars and their respective originators.
British Columbia has become the first province to implement a biosimilar switching initiative. “The evidence clearly shows that these patients can transition from original biologics to biosimilars safely and effectively, which are key considerations that have always been our top priorities with this change,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We know that the use of biosimilars in other countries has worked extremely well in ensuring people get the medication they need and it’s time we caught up. By using biosimilars in B.C., we will be putting about $96.6 million back into health care over the next three years.”
The CRA has released an updated position statement that “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.”