Canadian Organizations Gather Stakeholders to Stimulate Biosimilar Acceptance

The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance engaged the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health to lead a multiphase stakeholder consultation process to encourage biosimilar uptake.

Canadian provinces are moving to adopt biosimilars in publicly funded drug plans, and in early 2020, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) will receive a stakeholder report intended to increase uptake even further.

pCPA engaged the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) to lead a multiphase stakeholder consultation process. The project started a few months ago with more than 20 key informant interviews, centered around 5 clinical areas: dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and rheumatology.

Stakeholders include clinicians, patient group leaders, private payers, group purchasing organizations, and industry representatives; the project aims to ensure that their perspectives about biosimilars can be captured and conveyed to policymakers.

Last month, there was a 1-day meeting focused on 2 sessions. The morning session featured presentations and discussions for both originator and biosimilar industry representatives. Later in the day, clinicians and patients met without industry present.

During the meeting, participants discussed various policy options designed to increase uptake of biosimilars, including new starts only, tiering, quotas, non-medical switching, and tendering.

Last week, Alberta became the latest province to mandate a non-medical switch to biosimilars, joining British Columbia and Manitoba. Ontario is also considering the same move.

In 2017, pCPA engaged Cancer Care Ontario to lead a pan-Canadian Oncology Biosimilars Initiative, another stakeholder engagement process with the goal of ensuring that the implementation and use of therapeutic oncology biosimilars are appropriate and cost-effective across Canada.

Last year, the pCPA published the Biologics Policy Directions and pCPA Negotiations document with the goal of developing a clear and consistent pan-Canadian approach to biologic medicines across Canada for both originator products and biosimilars.

The final report will be provided to pCPA and its member jurisdictions in early 2020.

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