JointHealth™ express   October 5, 2023

The implementation of the Ontario biosimilars transition policy

As patents expire for biologic originator medicines, other manufacturers may produce new, similar versions shown to be as safe and effective. These new versions are called biosimilars. Today, there are currently 52 biosimilars approved by Health Canada. Since 2019, public drug plans have also begun implementing biosimilar transition policies that change coverage for specific biologic medicines. Starting on March 31, 2023, Ontario Drug Benefit recipients who are on an originator biologic have begun to transition to a Health Canada approved biosimilar version of the drug at no cost.

In this episode of Arthritis At Home, Cheryl Koehn speaks to Dr. Jane Purvis, an Ontario rheumatologist and the Chair of Government Affairs Committee of the Ontario Rheumatology Association, about the biosimilars transition policy being implemented in Ontario. Dr. Purvis reminds our Ontario inflammatory arthritis patient audience that if they are affected by this policy, they have until December 29, 2023 to make the transition. During this transition period, Dr. Purvis also encourages patients not to wait until the last minute and make an appointment now to discuss what transition means for them, what their treatment options are and how to make a transition plan with their rheumatologist through in-person or virtual visits.

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