• Bone Health
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Respiratory
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Rare Disease
  • Rheumatology

Yukon Becomes Tenth Canadian Jurisdiction to Add Biosimilars Switching Policy


Yukon, 1 of 3 Canadian territories, announced that it will implement a biosimilars switching policy, following Newfoundland and Labrador’s announcement to move forward with a similar policy earlier this week.

The government of Yukon announced that it will implement a biosimilars “switching” or transitioning policy, the tenth Canadian jurisdiction and the second territory to do so.

“Biosimilars Canada and its member companies congratulate Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and the Yukon Government for implementing a biosimilars switching policy to help support the long-term sustainability of its drug programs and healthcare system,” said Jim Keon, President of Biosimilars Canada, in a statement.

Initially, the policy will only apply to adalimumab biosimilars referencing Humira and insulin glargine biosimilars referencing Lantus. However, it will be expanded to include additional biologics in the future.

The implementation of the policy was recommended by the Putting People First report, which was adopted by the Yukon government in August 2020. The report aimed to transform the territory’s health and social services system.

“Biosimilars are safe, effective, and low-cost drugs used to manage chronic and autoimmune diseases. By enhancing our public drug plan with biosimilars, we are strengthening access to safe and affordable medication while also supporting the sustainability of our healthcare system. This transition aligns the Yukon with other jurisdictions and is another step in achieving our commitments in Putting People First,” said Tracy-Anne McPhee, in a statement from the territory.

The Yukon follows in the footsteps of Newfoundland and Labrador, British ColumbiaNova ScotiaNew BrunswickSaskatchewanQuebec, the Northwest TerritoriesAlberta, and Ontario. Newfoundland and Labrador announced its switching policy earlier this week.

The topic of switching or transitioning patients from a reference product to a biosimilar has raised concerns about whether product transitions will alter safety or efficacy outcomes. However, no province with a switching policy has experienced impacts on clinical outcomes and both the European Union and United Kingdom have declared all biosimilars as interchangeable with their reference products.

In its statement, the Yukon government assured that patients who are currently treated with Humira or Lantus will be notified by a health care provider that they will transition to a biosimilar. Yukoners enrolled in the territory’s public health plan will have 6 months to work with their provider to make the transition and maintain coverage.

“Yukon doctors see sustainability of the health care system as a key part of ensuring that Yukoners receive the best health care possible. Incorporating biosimilars into these publicly administered drug and benefit programs is part of ensuring equitable high-quality health care into the future,” noted Alex Kmet, MD, president of the Yukon Medical Association, in the Yukon government's statement.

Recent Videos
Lakesha Farmer from Cencora
Ha Kung Wong, JD.
Prerakkumar Parikh, PharmD
Cencora's Corey Ford
Brian Biehn
Chelsee Jensen, PharmD, BCPS
GBW 2023 webinar
Stephen Hanauer, MD, professor of medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University,
Stephen Hanauer, MD, professor of medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University,
Stephen Hanauer, MD
Related Content
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.