October 4, 2016
For Immediate Release
ACE LAUNCHES BIOSIM•EXCHANGE
to improve patient education
(VANCOUVER) — Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the launch of the Biosim•Exchange – a reader-friendly information hub for consumers and health care professionals to get the latest biosimilar news and background analysis.
The Biosim•Exchange will provide consumers timely, fact-based information on biosimilars safety and effectiveness and report on public and private health insurance formulary policy or listing decisions on biosimilars. Biosimilars describe a group of biologic medications that are administered by subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion and are proven similar, but not identical, as their originator biologics.
“There is a real need for balanced, evidence-based information on biosimilars. Our aim with the Biosim•Exchange is to help patients better understand biosimilars and their place among other inflammatory arthritis treatments. With this knowledge, patients can have a full therapy conversation with their rheumatologist (or other specialist) in order to best decide on their choice of medications, including originator biologics or biosimilars,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder & President, Arthritis Consumer Experts.
Biosimilars offer patients and physicians another choice in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis.
Health Canada, which approved Canada’s first biosimilar for the treatment of inflammatory forms of arthritis in 2015, defines biosimilars as a “biologic drug that enters the market subsequent to a version previously authorized in Canada, and with demonstrated similarity to a reference biologic drug.” While relatively new to Canada, biosimilar versions of originator biologics have been in use in Europe for a decade and in use to treat inflammatory arthritis since 2013.
“ACE has been a leader in biosimilar discussions since 2009 sharing information with multi-stakeholder groups across Canada. Over these past seven years, we have consistently communicated our support of the development of a medication approval and reimbursement access regime, offering choice and broadening access, while ensuring “gold standard” patient care and safety,” said Koehn.
As biosimilars research data continues to be published and policies regulating them evolve, ACE is meeting with public formulary and private payer decision makers to provide its membership’s views on the placement of biosimilars in therapy. ACE is advocating to provincial governments to reinvest drug plan savings from biosimilar listings back to drug plan budgets by listing new medicines coming into the marketplace to address unmet treatment needs.
To view the Biosim•Exchange, please click here: http://bit.ly/JHBiosimExch
About Arthritis Consumer Experts
Arthritis Consumer Experts is a national organization that provides science-based information and education programs in both official languages to people with arthritis. ACE serves people living with all forms of arthritis by helping them take control of their disease and improve their quality of life through education and empowerment. Founded and led by people with arthritis, ACE also actively advocates on arthritis health and policy issues, through ACE's JointHealth™ family of programs and the Arthritis Broadcast Network, directly to consumers/patients, healthcare professionals, media and government. ACE is guided by a strict set of guiding principles, set out by an advisory board comprised of leading scientists, medical professionals and informed arthritis activists.
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For further information, please contact:
Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs
Arthritis Consumer Experts