Anar Dossa, director of Pharmacy Services at Pacific Blue Cross, discusses the company's involvement with British Columbia's biosimilars switching program.
In 2019, British Columbia (BC) became the first Canadian province to announce and implement a biosimilars switching initiative. Soon after, 3 other provinces developed their own plans to draw on biosimilars for health care savings. BC’s initiative introduced a mandatory switching policy from reference products to a select list of biosimilars. Each phase of the initiative is given a transition period, allowing physicians time to prepare patients for biosimilars before BC PharmaCare, the public health program, officially stops covering the reference products. The province recently concluded in its third phase, officially using etanercept, infliximab, rituximab, and insulin glargine biosimilars as the primary medications to treat a number of rheumatic conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Pacific Blue Cross, one of the health plan providers in BC, has already seen success in aligning plan sponsors and members with the initiative, generating $27 million in savings by converting 99% of their plans. We sat down with Anar Dossa, director of Pharmacy Services at Pacific Blue Cross and leader of biosimilar transitions for the company’s benefits plan clients and members, to discuss company projections and challenges that have come with implementing the initiative.
To learn more about phase 3 of the BC Biosimilars Initiative, click here.
To learn more about biosimilar switches in Canada, click here.
To learn more about other Canadian province’s biosimilar plans, click here.
To learn more about Pacific Blue Cross’s success with the program, click here.