KIRKLAND, QC, May 27, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, the Government of British Columbia announced its Biosimilars Initiative, which will transition patients who use specific reference biologic drugs for some rheumatology, dermatology and diabetes indications to a biosimilar. The initiative could help save millions of dollars over the first three years, and could improve access to prescription drugs for patients in the province.i
"I am pleased to see British Columbia lead the way in Canada regarding the use of biosimilars and in recognizing the value these products bring to patients," said Anna Van Acker, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc. "With this announcement, the Government of British Columbia has reinforced the important role biosimilars can play in our healthcare system in helping broaden access not only to biologics, but also to innovative medicines overall. Merck is proud to offer biosimilar products as part of its commitment to delivering patient-centred solutions and believes in the value biosimilars bring to patients and to the sustainability of the healthcare system when savings are reinvested within the system."
The Biosimilars Initiative changes PharmaCare coverage for specific biologic drugs. During the transition period from May 27 - November 25, 2019, PharmaCare will cover both originator and biosimilar versions of the affected drugs to allow patients time to inform themselves and start the transitioning process with their prescriber. Effective November 26, 2019, PharmaCare will only cover the biosimilar versions of the drugs identified for the affected indications.
Merck is committed to assisting eligible patients and their healthcare providers in facilitating transition to its biosimilars through its patient support program.
More information on the announcement can be found at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019HLTH0080-001072.
Additional information on transitioning, as well as patient resources can be found at www.gov.bc.ca/biosimilars.
For more information about Merck Biosimilars, visit www.merckbiosimilars.ca.
For over a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca and connect with us on YouTube and Twitter @MerckCanada.
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i BC Ministry of Health. B.C. expands use of biosimilars to offer coverage for more treatment options. Available online at:https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019HLTH0080-001072 (Accessed May 2019)
SOURCE Merck Canada Inc.