"The government's initiative to increase the use of biosimilars makes sense, as the resulting savings have been guaranteed to stay in the public drug plans to fund new drugs. Biosimilars are just as safe and effective as the originator versions, as demonstrated by the experiences in British Columbia, Alberta and Europe."
Dr. Mark MacMillan, Gastroenterologist and Assistant Professor in Division of Digestive Care & Endoscopy at Dalhousie University Department of Medicine
"Persons with diabetes have been switching to the biosimilar version of their insulin, and many in the province have done so already. Diabetes care of these people has continued with safety and efficacy. Prescribers and patients can feel comfortable with treatment with their biosimilar."
Dr. Michael Pelkey, Endocrinologist and Assistant Professor in Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at Dalhousie University Department of Medicine
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards evidence-based sustainable health care. We applaud the New Brunswick government for implementing a policy to increase the use of biosimilars, which have been proven to work just as well as originator biologics. There is a large body of research and experience with biosimilars supporting this change, and similar transition policies have been safely and successfully implemented in British Columbia, Alberta and many European countries. The savings offered by transition to biosimilars help to protect the sustainability of drug plans, and to permit funding of new biologics entering the market. This is good for the people of New Brunswick.”
Dr. Diane Lacaille, Rheumatologist and Scientific Director of Arthritis Research Canada
“As the leader of Canada’s largest arthritis patient organization, I hear every day about disparities in patient access to reimbursement for treatment and services they and their rheumatologist feel they need. Today’s announcement addresses this issue in New Brunswick by ensuring continued reimbursement coverage for patients who transition to a biologic biosimilar and potentially greater access to all advanced therapies (like biologics) for patients in need. Based on the experience in British Columbia and Alberta where thousands of patients have been successfully transitioned, we encourage the New Brunswick government to work with chronic disease communities to identify where reinvestment of biosimilars savings can improve sustainability by adding new medication listings, boost existing medicine coverage and modernize models of care for patients. The key for patients transitioning to biosimilars is understanding the rationale for it and the well-established safety and efficacy of Health Canada approved biosimilars during their treatment options conversations with their specialists. To help patients in New Brunswick, ACE has the latest biosimilar information on our Biosim•Exchange.”
Cheryl Koehn, President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and person living with rheumatoid arthritis
“The transition to a biosimilar can take place safely under the right conditions, improve access to treatment while also providing savings that can be reinvested into expanded healthcare. The Arthritis Society’s priority is to ensure that people living with arthritis have access to the life-changing treatments and information they need. We are supportive of the New Brunswick government’s biosimilars initiative announced today and look forward to working with them to ensure that this transition is seamless for patients and puts their needs and experiences front and centre.”
Jone Mitchell, Executive Director of the Atlantic Region for the Arthritis Society