JointHealth™ express   May 27, 2019

British Columbia PharmaCare is changing reimbursement coverage for infliximab and etanercept

The government of British Columbia today announced the launch of the Biosimilars Initiative, which will implement new reimbursement coverage for patients on infliximab or etanercept for rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or psoriatic arthritis.

Between May 27, 2019 and November 22, 2019, patients on Remicade® will be transitioned to its biosimilar, either infliximab-Inflectra® or infliximab-Renflexis®.

Over the six month period, reimbursement coverage will be provided for all originator and biosimilar brands, in order to provide time for patients to speak with their rheumatologist about transitioning to a biosimilar.

Where can patients get more information about biosimilars?

There are several places patients can go for biosimilars information and support, including:
  • Your rheumatologist or rheumatology nurse or support staff
  • Biologic patient support program
  • Public or private drug formulary web sites
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) has been a leader in biosimilars discussions since 2009, sharing information with stakeholders across Canada through free research-based workshops, webinars and education programs. Drawing from this experience, ACE has created the Biosim•Exchange (, an information hub for consumers to get the latest biosimilars news and background analysis.

ACE has produced a special biosimilars education video series, where ACE speaks to medical experts on key patient questions around biosimilars and transitioning from originators to biosimilars: Go to and click on “Biosimilars education videos.”

ACE has recently published a new guide - “Biosimilars in Canada: What inflammatory arthritis patients need to know” – to address those needs of patients who want information on biosimilar medicines. It aims to provide answers to questions patients may have on biosimilars and provide them the information tools they need to power and support their conversations with their rheumatologists and other health care providers and ensure science-based continuity of care. Click on the following link to view the guide: