By Mike Boivin, BSc.Phm.
Biologics have transformed the treatment of a wide number of chronic medical conditions. These therapies not only reduce symptoms, but can also slow the progression of once debilitating conditions. Pharmacists are increasingly seeing their patients being managed with these therapies every day in their practices.
With biologics being a cost-driver, there has been an emphasis from payers to look for methods to reduce the cost of these therapies. With the introduction of biosimilars in Canada, there is a common belief that they will not only contain but dramatically reduce the overall cost of these therapies. There are considerations for patients, pharmacists and physicians on the role of biosimilars.
It’s important for pharmacists to understand the Canadian biologic/biosimilar space from a community pharmacy perspective. For example, what is the role of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis and what is the impact of the introduction of biosimilars for two commonly used agents for this condition? It’s important to explore the potential impact on patients, pharmacists, and physicians. Collaboration and education can reduce the confusion regarding these therapies and the potential role of biosimilars and innovator biologics over the next few years.
To learn more about Pharmacy U Toronto, where the role of biosimilars will be explored in depth, visit http://pharmacyu.ca/toronto/
Mike Boivin BSc.Phm. is a clinical pharmacist consultant, continuing education developer and president of CommPharm Consulting Inc.