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BC Pharmacare Biosimilar Initiative Kicks Off

BC Pharmacare has announced Phase 1 of their biosimilar initiative. Effective November 25, 2019, they will be transitioning coverage for select biologic drugs to the corresponding Health Canada approved biosimilar drug. Biosimilars are cheaper near-copies of existing biologics, a category of drugs that, unlike conventional pills, are manufactured from living organisms and usually delivered by injection or IV infusion. The goal of this initiative is to save $100 million over 3 years, create opportunities for new drug listings and boost existing coverage for patients.

As patents for blockbuster biologics are soon expiring, the BC government moved forward to start transitioning all BC residents currently covered for Remicade®, Enbrel® and Lantus® to the corresponding biosimilar drugs for select medical conditions as per the chart below.

Drug

Biologic/Originator

Biosimilar

Medical Condition

etanercept
Enbrel®
Brenzys®
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Erelzi™
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Psoriatic Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
infliximab
Remicade®
Inflectra® Renflexis®
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Plaque Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Insulin glargine Lantus® Basaglar™ Type 1 & 2 Diabetes

To learn more about how this change may affect you or your plan members, feel free to contact us at 1-800-387-1670 or admin@beneplan.ca