The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

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Biosimilars for Cancer: Recent updates to patient treatments

Over the last few years CBCN has been working to educate patients, physicians and the broader cancer advocacy community about biosimilar therapies.  From our curated digital magazine on biosimilars to our recently released white paper Breast Cancer & Biosimilars: Recommendations on Use, Implementation and Patient Communications-CBCN is committed to raising awareness about the use of biosimilar therapies for treating breast cancer.

As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our community informed on the latest news about biosimilars, we would like to share a few updates in this treatment space.  We have recently learnt that Ontario and British Columbia have approved biosimilars for bevacizumab for the treatment of a number of different cancers.  This is the first announcement of biosimilars being available for public reimbursement through the provincial formularies for oncology treatments.

CBCN is pleased to note that both Ontario and British Columbia have stipulated that cancer patients currently being treated with the reference biologic Avastin will not be switched automatically to the biosimilar products. Instead, patients starting treatment after September 12th in Ontario and November 1st in British Columbia will be initiated on biosimilar bevacizumab treatment.

Earlier this year, CBCN followed up with policy-makers on our biosimilars white paper. In our advocacy outreach, we advised against the “forced switching” of oncology patients currently being treated with reference biologic products. We are pleased to note that Ontario and British Columbia are aligning their biosimilar treatment policy with our recommendation and we strongly urge the other provinces to adopt a similar approach to the treatment of cancer patients with biosimilars. 

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash