February 7, 2022
Nova Scotia Pharmacare has announced plans to make changes to the biologic medications that it covers. The goal is to switch patients treated with certain biologics medications for an immune mediated disease, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, to a BIOSIMILAR medication. Biosimilar medications are also known as subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) and are not exactly the same as the original biologic medication, but are highly similar and offer a substantial cost savings. Biosimilars have been studied thoroughly and have been shown to be as effective and have the same side effect profile as the original biologic medication. This switch has already happened in most other Canadian provinces.
Patients being treated with HUMIRA or REMICADE and are covered by Nova Scotia Pharmacare will be impacted by this switch.
As your clinician, we will work with you and Nova Scotia Pharmacare to manage this transition. Over the next several months, our IBD team will be in touch with you and help plan a smooth transition for you. Rest assured, if you are pregnant or experiencing a significant flare of your disease the actual switch date may be delayed.
Link to Nova Scotia Pharmacare statement: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220204002
Nova Scotia Pharmacare switch information: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/pharmacare/information-for-patients-about-biosimilars.asp
Health Canada Biosimilar fact sheet:
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation biosimilar resource page: