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Utilization of Innovator Biologics and Biosimilars for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases in Canada: A Provincial Perspective

Last updated: January 21, 2020
Project Number: HO0007-HE0024
Product Line: Technology Review
Research Type: Drug
Result type: Report

The high cost of biologic drugs in Canada has created a demand for biosimilars as a cost-saving alternative for Canadian public health care payers. Several biosimilar products are now commercially available for a variety of conditions; yet, it is suggested that the uptake of biosimilars in Canada remains suboptimal.

In order to better understand the current use and uptake of biosimilar products, Canadian policy-makers have requested information on the utilization of biosimilars for chronic inflammatory diseases, including any potential cost implications relating to the future use of biosimilars.

To address the policy questions, CADTH collaborated with independent researchers at the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN). These researchers conducted a study using linked population-level information from data sets housed at ICES to examine trends in utilization and spending of publicly reimbursed innovator biologics and biosimilars indicated for inflammatory rheumatic conditions and IBD, and to explore differences in the uptake of biosimilars by a patient’s medical indication and by the drug type from the perspective of a large, government-sponsored drug program.

The CADTH report summarizes the major findings from the ODRPN study and discusses possible implications for decision-makers. Medical conditions currently of interest to policy-makers in Canada and that were included in this assessment comprise inflammatory rheumatic conditions and IBD. Rheumatic conditions were defined as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriasis, and IBD represented Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis in the ODPRN analysis.