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Assessing the Cost of Switching from Biologic Drugs to Biosimilars in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in British Columbia (BC)

 

Study Title:

Health Economic Evaluation of the Mandatory Switching Policy for Biosimilars in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

 

Principal Investigator: 

Nick Bansback – MSc, PhD Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Providence Health Care Research Institute Co Lead, BC SUPPORT Unit Health Economics and Simulation Methods Cluster

 

Start Date:

July 1, 2020

 

End Date:

June 30, 2022

 

Why do this research?

Biologic drugs are effective treatments for patients with RA, but their high costs take up a large part of British Columbia’s (BC) health care budget. As many biologic drugs are coming to the end of their patent, it is possible to make equivalent drugs called biosimilars for a much lesser cost. That would result in a cost saving of millions of dollars to the health care budget. The money saved could be spent on treating other patients. But, it is difficult to make biosimilar drugs exactly the same as the biologic drugs even though their safety and effectiveness are similar.

In 2019, a new policy in BC switches patients using biologic drugs to biosimilar ones. Other places including Alberta and Ontario are planning to introduce similar policies and are watching the outcomes of the one in BC. Our findings will provide valuable information to people with RA using biosimilars and biologics, and to health care professionals and health care policy makers who are seeking to deliver the best possible health care to their populations.

 

What will be done?

This project will assess whether the anticipated cost savings occur when patients switch to biosimilars. We will observe what happens to patients in BC before and after the switching policy.

 

Who is on the research team?

 
Co-Applicants:

Mark Harrison – MSc, PhD Affiliate Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Providence Health Care Research Institute

Aslam H. Anis – PhD, FCAHS Senior Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia Director, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Providence Health Care Research Institute

Jason Kur, MD, FRCPC Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of British Columbia

Michael Law, MSc, PhD Director, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Canada Research Chair in Access to Medicines Professor, UBC School of Population and Public Health

Mary De Vera – MSc, PhD Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia Canada Research Chair in Medication Adherence, Utilization, and Outcomes

 

Funding Agency:

Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA)

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