As BC attempts to increase biosimilar use by force-switching 23,000 patients, Europe enjoys high uptake rates while preserving patient and physician choice.
On August 5th, ASBM released a fact sheet contrasting the biosimilar substitution policies of European countries (which generally have robust biosimilar markets) with the newly announced British Columbia policy.
First fact sheet also addresses misconceptions about the market share of biosimilars in Europe. While the rates of biosimilar use for older biosimilars (those approved before 2013) can be as high as 91%, rates for biosimilars approved after 2013 vary from country to country, ranging from 0% to 43%. (All but one of the biosimilars approved in Canada fall into this latter group.)
In addition, in contrast to the BC policy, the vast majority of European countries leave the decision of what biologic medicine to use with the treating physician in consultation with their patient.
Also, during the 13 years of experience with biosimilar medicines in European markets, no country has directed well-treated patients to either transition to a biosimilar or to change to a different biologic as a condition for the reimbursement of additional innovative drugs and to expand coverage of existing drugs.