On October 28th, ASBM launched a new microsite focused on the issue of forced biosimilar substitution in Canada- the forcing of patients off their physician-prescribed biologics and onto preferred government-chosen products.
This controversial practice is rare among the advanced countries of the world, and has raised concerns among patient and physician organizations worldwide. In nearly every European country, for example, patients and physicians are free to choose the most suitable product, and while new patients are encouraged to try the lowest cost medicine first, the treatment decision ultimately rests with the physician and patient. All products are reimbursed, and automatic or forced substitution is not practiced.
The microsite contains a variety of materials, including:
- National and province-specific news stories about how provinces have implemented, or are considering such policies.
- Statements from physician societies and patient advocacy organizations raising concerns with the practice
- Fact sheets contrasting the forced-substitution policies of British Columbia and Alberta with the pro-competition policies of European countries
- Surveys showing strong physician opposition to third-party non-medical substitutions from physicians in Europe and Canada
- A whitepaper showing how European countries achieve biosimilar savings by preserving- not limiting- physician and patient choice
- Shareable social media graphics
- The ability for Canadians to quickly send a message to your Health Minister expressing your opposition to forced substitution in their province
We encourage you to take a moment to visit: www.noforcedswitching.ca