B.C. makes move towards biosimilars

Legislation should mean improved coverage, benefits for workers, employers: Experts
By Marcel Vander Wier
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/04/2019
Biosimilars are representative of biologic medicines, but not identical. Biologics are injectable drugs constructed from living organisms such as bacteria or yeast, and are used to treat a variety of diseases. onair/Shutterstock

British Columbia has become the first province to legislate a changeover to biosimilar drugs — a move that could save employers thousands of dollars on health benefits, according to experts.

“Once the companies bringing biosimilars see that the Canadian market is supporting them, they will bring more. and that will be an opportunity for even more savings. So, from an employer perspective, this is 100 per cent positive,” said Jim Keon, president of Biosimilars Canada in Toronto.

B.C.’s move was made in May and is intended to create opportunities for new drug listings and expanded coverage for patients. The changeover will occur over a period of six months and affect more than 20,000 patients with chronic conditions, according to the government.