Current Perceptions of Biosimilars Among Canadian Gastroenterologists

Biosimilars are a reality in Canada. In an effort to promote a shared understanding of the range of issues, perspectives, and developments related to the use of biosimilars, the CARE Gastroenterology Faculty recently conducted a needs assessment.

The initiative is led by Dr. Remo Panaccione (University of Calgary).  The survey was distributed in March to Canadian gastroenterologists. There are 47 responders to date. What follows is an overview of the key takeaways from the needs assessment, along with the response data.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responders to this questionnaire are familiar with biosimilars.
  • Cost appears to be a strong factor in selecting a biosimilar. 
  • Approximately half of responding gastroenterologists indicated they would consider starting a new patient on a biosimilar over a biologic. 
  • Most responders said that they would prefer not to switch a patient who was stable on a biologic to a biosimilar. 
  • The majority of responders do not support the government “mandated switch” policy.  
    • If a switch was mandated, post marketing surveillance studies would be valuable.  
    • Among responding specialists, the steps to report an adverse event for a biosimilar are unclear.
    • It would be valuable to both identify and track which biologic(s) are being used and in what sequence.
  • Gastroenterologists want to see robust RCTs in the Canadian market; more data will improve comfort levels.