- Campaign provides needed, fact-based, information for patients, healthcare providers and Canadians about biosimilar medicines in Canada.
- The Biosimilars Generation seeks to increase awareness on the benefits of biosimilars, their proven safety and efficacy, and the opportunities they present to the healthcare system to realize cost savings.
- At the heart of the campaign, evidence-based digital resource, BiosimilarsGeneration.ca, aims to provide information on biosimilars and the perspectives from research and clinical communities, as well as patient organizations.
Boucherville, QC (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Sandoz, a global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines, announced today the launch in Canada of The Biosimilars Generation campaign to help Canadians better understand the benefits of biosimilars, their proven safety and efficacy, and the opportunities they present to the healthcare system to realize savings and increase access to innovative new medicines.
The Biosimilars Generation is a starting point to facilitate discussion around biosimilars and inform a generation of Canadians interested in helping sustain our healthcare system. Through increased awareness, the campaign seeks to provide fact and evidence-based information and education to patients, healthcare providers and all Canadians about biosimilar medicines.
“We see patients, their healthcare providers, policy makers and all Canadians as a new generation that will be impacted by the scientific and economic advances, as well as health outcomes, from the arrival and expanded use of biosimilars over the next decade,” said Michel Robidoux, President and General Manager, Sandoz Canada. “Biologic medicines have transformed the treatment of many complex diseases; however, the cost of these medicines is also putting financial strain on our healthcare system, now even under more pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are committed to increasing patient access to biosimilar medicines that can help alleviate this budget pressure by bringing economies and value to patients and provinces – safely and responsibly.”
The campaign kicks off today with the launch of the website, BiosimilarsGeneration.ca, which will help support and educate Canadians and provide them a global perspective by including policy updates from public drug plans, as well as information from Canadian, international research and clinical communities, and patient organizations representing Canadians living with chronic diseases who take biologic medicines.
Responding to the implementation of biosimilars transition initiatives in British Columbia and Alberta in 2019, the entry of oncology biosimilars in hospitals and cancer centres, and increased interest from the general public, The Biosimilars Generation reflects the ongoing conversations between various stakeholders across the country, including physicians, patient groups, and caregivers.
“There is an increasing demand for credible, fact-based information from Canadians looking to learn more about the safety, efficacy and value of biosimilar medicines, particularly as provinces are implementing biosimilar switch policies,” said Karine Matteau, Vice President Hospitals & Physicians Channel / Head of Biopharmaceuticals, Sandoz Canada. “The Biosimilars Generation not only addresses this need within a community - of patients, healthcare providers and all Canadians - it shows that we are all in it together, to be informed, empowered and supported.”
As patents and data protection expire for original-brand medicines, other manufacturers may produce new versions of the biologic medicines called biosimilars. To receive Health Canada authorization, a biosimilar must demonstrate it is highly similar and has no clinically meaningful differences in efficacy and safety compared to an original-brand (“reference”) biologic1. Since 2009, Health Canada has approved 24 biosimilars of original-brand biologics present on the Canadian market2.
The 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 product3.
The broader use of biosimilar medicines, including the implementation of biosimilar switching policies, can also help public and private drug plans improve their sustainability by adding new medicine listings and boosting existing medication coverage for patients. Sandoz Canada believes that in the short term, during and immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the cost savings benefits of biosimilars is one potential answer to the challenges faced by the Canadian healthcare system as public drug plans, hospitals and cancer centres strive to continue to deliver high quality patient treatment care under major budget constraints.
Sandoz Canada is a pioneer, a leader and trusted supplier of high-quality biosimilars based on the global experience and capabilities of Sandoz GmbH, a division of Novartis, in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of biosimilars since 1996. Sandoz launched the first biosimilar in Europe in 2006 and in the Canadian market in 2009.
About Sandoz Canada
Sandoz Canada is a division of Sandoz International GmbH, a world leader in generics and biosimilars and a division of the Swiss multinational Novartis AG. A true leader in its field, Sandoz Canada markets and distributes a wide range of generics, biosimilars and specialty products.
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1. Health Canada Biosimilars Fact Sheet: Biosimilars Explained. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/biologics-radiopharmaceuticals-genetic-therapies/applications-submissions/guidance-documents/fact-sheet-biosimilars.html
2. Canadian Biologic Drug Market, Biosimilars Canada (12 months ending March 2020).
3. Patented Medicines Prices Review Board. Potential Savings from Biosimilars in Canada. https://www.pmprb-cepmb.gc.ca/CMFiles/NPDUIS/2017_Conference_Posters/post_6_biosim.pdf
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