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Over 2 million Canadians are currently living with vision loss as a result of retinal diseases.  The current most advanced treatments available for eye conditions include biologic anti-VEGF treatment as a way to slow vision loss in people with wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) or diabetic retinopathy (DR).  However, with patents on the anti-VEGF biologics soon to expire, there is an emerging trend toward the use of biosimilars in ophthalmic practice.  Government policies in India, Europe, and the United States of America (USA) to procure and implement biosimilars are not only about the safety and efficacy of the regimen, but also the potential cost-savings.

In Canada, various federal and provincial consultations have informed the broad landscape of biosimilars policies, yet sparse attention has been given to specific fields such as ophthalmology.  Awareness and education of biosimilars (rather than the originator) as a treatment option is an important step towards the development of policies that support safe and effective management and treatment, specific to the needs of patients and their medical conditions.

To position this emerging field in a Canadian context with a focus on awareness and education of physician and patients, and the barriers of implementing biosimilar policies globally, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) convened a virtual roundtable discussion on Emerging Trends in Ophthalmic Biosimilars Policy in Canada’.  Leaders of civil society and patient advocacy groups, alongside retinal specialists and public policy experts shared perspectives in this forum on biosimilar policies and practice with respect to the changing vision health landscape in Canada.  The meeting unpacked details related to physician and patient experiences and the level of awareness of biosimilars, along with the challenges and successes of implementing biosimilars policies globally, and the potential impact of mandatory non-medical switching to biosimilars policies on patients in Canada.

 

Emerging Trends in Ophthalmic Biosimilars Policy in Canada – 2022 Roundtable

This roundtable is supported by the generous unrestricted educational sponsorship from Biogen


 

 

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