Nova Scotia, Canada implements biosimilar switching policy

Biosimilars/General | Posted 25/02/2022 post-comment0 Post your comment

Nova Scotia becomes the fifth Canadian province to implement a biosimilar switching policy, meaning that half of Canada’s provinces have now implemented such policies.

Switching V19A17

On 4 February 2022, the Government of Nova Scotia announced a biosimilar switching policy for seven drugs. The drugs cover indications including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and a range of other inflammatory diseases.

The change will affect around 5,100 people in the region, the majority (70%) of which will need to switch from originator to biosimilar insulin.

Patients will have until 3 February 2023 to switch to a biosimilar version of their medication, although exceptions can be made in cases in which a patient is not able to switch to a biosimilar for medical reasons.

Table 1: Drugs included in the Nova Scotia biosimilar switching programme
Drug Originator Biosimilar Conditions
Adalimumab  Humira®  Amgevita™
 Idacio®
 Hadlima®
 Hulio®
 Hyrimoz®
Adult ulcerative colitis
Ankylosing spondylitis
Crohn's disease
Hidradenitis suppurativa
Plaque psoriasis
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis
Non-infectious uveitis~
Rheumatoid arthritis
Etanercept Enbrel® Brenzys®
 Erelzi®
Ankylosing spondylitis
 Plaque psoriasis
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Infliximab Remicade® Avsola™
 Inflectra®
 Renflexis™
Ankylosing spondylitis
 Crohn's disease
Plaque psoriasis
Psoriatic arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Ulcerative colitis
Insulin glargine Lantus® Basaglar™ Diabetes
Insulin lispro Humalog® Admelog®  Diabetes
Insulin aspart  NovoRapid® Trurapi®  Diabetes 
Rituximab  Rituxan® Riximyo®
 Ruxience™
 Truxima™
Auto-immune diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis
Vasculitis

 

Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness for Nova Scotia, said: ‘The evidence is clear that biosimilars are a safe and effective form of drug therapy for many patients. If we’re able to provide the same high-quality treatment to our patients for lower cost, it’s our duty to do so’.

Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts, added: ‘Arthritis Consumer Experts congratulates the Nova Scotia government on today’s announcement that will help ensure continued reimbursement coverage for patients who transition to a biologic biosimilar. […We] encourage the Government of Nova Scotia to work with chronic disease communities like ours to reinvest biosimilars savings in improving sustainability and adding new therapies for public drug plan beneficiaries’.

The cost savings made from the policy will be re-invested in health care in the region. It is estimated the savings will be in the region of US$13 million each year once the programme has been fully implemented, with additional savings expected as more biosimilars are approved in Canada.

Nova Scotia follows British Columbia [1], Alberta [2], New Brunswick [3], Quebec [4] and the Northwest Territories [5] in announcing a biosimilar switching policy, making it the fifth Canadian province (and sixth jurisdiction) to do so. It also means half of Canada’s provinces now have biosimilar switching policies in place.

Related articles
British Columbia expands biosimilar switching programme to include insulin

Canadian provinces expand their use of biosimilars

Alberta Biosimilars Initiative: switching policy updates in Canada

LATIN AMERICAN FORUM

The new section of the ‘Latin American Forum’ on GaBI has been launched. The objective of this new section is to provide you with all the latest news and updates on developments of generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America in Spanish.

View this week’s headline article: Nomenclatura de biológicos y biosimilares en Brasil

Browse the news in the Latin American Forum!

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.

LATIN AMERICAN FORUM

Se ha lanzado la nueva sección del ‘Foro Latinoamericano’ sobre GaBI. El objetivo de esta nueva sección es brindarle las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre desarrollos de medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en América Latina en español.

Vea el artículo principal de esta semana: Nomenclatura de biológicos y biosimilares en Brasil

!Explore las noticias en el Foro Latinoamericano!

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Foro Latinoamericano. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 

  

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Canada’s British Columbia to switch patients to biosimilars [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Feb 25]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/policies-legislation/Canada-s-British-Columbia-to-switch-patients-to-biosimilars
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Concerns raised as Canada’s Alberta plans to switch patients to biosimilars [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Feb 25]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/policies-legislation/Concerns-raised-as-Canada-s-Alberta-plans-to-switch-patients-to-biosimilars
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Concerns over Canada’s New Brunswick transition to biosimilars [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Feb 25]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/general/concerns-over-canada-s-new-brunswick-transition-to-biosimilars
4. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Quebec announces biosimilar switching policy [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Feb 25]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/general/quebec-announces-biosimilar-switching-policy
5. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Northwest Territories, Canada announces biosimilars switching policy [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Feb 25]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/general/northwest-territories-canada-announces-biosimilars-switching-policy

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Source: Government of Nova Scotia

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