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Green Shield Canada rolls out biosimilar transition program

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Chris Pryce, CEBS:

I understand the concept that not every Canadian has been bestowed with the right to have access to whatever drug is on the market, and I also understand the financial implications of saving thousands of dollars on biosimilars. But taking patients off a biologic that they have perhaps had to work through other drugs to finally get to an be stable on, is concerning to me. Yes, the patient has the choice to pay the difference, but we are not talking about a $10 script. Switching in many cases, involves the patient having to withdraw themselves off drug for a period of time (2 weeks in certain cases) before they can start the loading doses for the new treatment. Is Green Shield there to manage their condition in that time when their symptoms worsen and they are unproductive at work and may even miss work. Additionally, which RA specialist would recommend taking a stable patient off drug…I am no doctor, but have seen first hand the challenges with biologics (dosage creep and multiple drug failures) and this action by GS might make financial sense but perhaps it would be unnecessary if GS simply signed a product listing agreement to ensure a fair price for Remicaide relative to the biosimilar. Are we on our way to U.S. style HMO’s?

Friday, March 09 at 2:02 pm | Reply