Biosimilar drugs are cost-effective, “highly similar” copies of brand-name biological drugs whose patents have expired. Health Canada reviews and approves biosimilars to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
The Alberta government’s Biosimilars Initiative requires the replacement of some brand name drugs with biosimilar drugs, when possible. This required change only applies if adult patients (those over 18 and not pregnant) have coverage under an Alberta government sponsored drug plan.
This change won’t affect your ASEBP benefits, at this time; however, if you have coverage under multiple plans, we encourage you to check what changes, if any, your other service provider may implement now or in the future. Other service providers are developing biosimilar strategies that may not align with ASEBP coverage, so it is important for ASEBP members to be well informed when using biological products to maximize coverage.
Visit the Government of Alberta’s Biosimilars Initiative for more information.