All Canadians - In it together
Biologics are produced by a complex manufacturing process involving living organisms. These medicines over the past 20 years have improved the treatment and prevention of many chronic, disabling and life-threatening diseases. However, biologics are also one of the key drivers of rising healthcare costs.
Biosimilar medicines are versions of original-brand biologics that have lost patent protection. To receive Health Canada's authorization, a biosimilar must demonstrate that it is highly similar and has no clinically meaningful differences in safety and efficacy compared to the original-brand biologic.10
Biosimilars can be used for the same therapeutic aim and offer an opportunity to reduce spending on costly original-brand biologics. The Canadian Government’s Patented Medicines Pricing Review Board has estimated that private and public drug plans across Canada could save from $332 million CDN to $1.81 billion CDN in the third year following biosimilar entry across a portfolio of products.11
If you are a Canadian who is concerned about the sustainability of the publicly funded healthcare system, we encourage you to learn more about The Biosimilars Generation.
The use of biosimilar medicines has the potential to benefit all Canadians. Biosimilar medicines are lower cost because they are produced post-patent and do not have to recreate the research and development done by the original-brand biologic manufacturer.12 The savings generated by biosimilars may be reinvested into healthcare resources and enable more patients to experience the benefits of biologic treatment.
10 Health Canada Biosimilars Fact Sheet: Biosimilars Explained
11 Patented Medicines Prices Review Board. Potential Savings from Biosimilars in Canada. Date modified: 2018-02-05
12 Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH): Biosimilar Drugs: Your Questions Answered