The IFA VoltAGE is a monthly email publication to an e-newsletter which provides up to date information on the latest IFA activity, ongoing international work and news from member organizations. June 2023: Vision Health Month May 2023: IFA Celebrates Vision Health Month.
AMI Radio: Dr. Jane Barratt on the Eye See You campaign
Canadian prescribers’ attitudes and perceptions about ophthalmic biosimilars – GaBI Journal (gabi-journal.net)
The first biosimilar entered the Canadian market in 2009 and the first ophthalmic biosimilar was approved in 2022. In 2022, the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM) and the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) asked prescribing ophthalmology physicians in Canada for their views on product identification, prescribing biologicals and prescribing biosimilars and switching. The survey reveals information about how Canadian ophthalmologists feel about the use of ophthalmic biosimilars, specifically on biological/biosimilar product identification, and prescribing and switching to biosimilars for ocular use.
Ms. Rathod of the International Federation of Ageing noted that there is a risk of loss of stability for the patients that are switched, i.e. increased risk of disease worsening . This is significant as it often takes several years for a patient to find a drug that works well for them. There are also geographical and logistical issues that come with accessing biosimilars, especially when clinics for biologicals are separated from those where the biosimilars are located. Ms. Rathod reiterated the importance of having information publicly available and for this to be regularly updated, as it helps patient organizations ensure that the correct information is relayed to patients in a timely manner for decisions on treatment options to be made.
Physicians, patients, medical societies, and patient organizations alike have formally and informally registered their concern that forced switching will negatively affect patient care and, in the case of ophthalmology, may result in vision changes. In 2020, a report published by Quebec’s Institut National d’Excellence en Santé et Services Sociaux (INESSS) concluded that the available scientific data were insufficient to support the safe switching between the originator biologic and biosimilar, and “forced switching is generally not accepted by learned societies and the consulted clinicians” due to the potential destabilization of the health and wellbeing of complex patients.
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and the Eye See You (ESY) campaign partnered with the AiArthritis to create a 360-it spin off segment on the AiArthritis Voices 360 Talk Show episode Biosimilars: What patients need to know. The 360-it segment shed light on the impact of mandatory biosimilars policies on patients’ continuity of care, crucial need for patient education on biosimilars, and elements for consideration in upcoming ophthalmic biosimilars policies, such as patient-physician consultation and reight to decide choice of treatment.
Zoomer Magazine: 8 Tips To Help You Prevent Vision Loss
The National Post: The Eye See You Campaign and SRCHC
Canadian Council for the Blind: The Eye See You Campaign
Canada NewsWire: The Eye See You Campaign
Maclean’s: Vision Loss Due to Diabetes on the Rise
National Post: From Loss to Ability – Rethinking Aging and Vision Yahoo: Awareness Campaign Alerts Canadians to be Vigilant About Eye Health
Executive Officer Notice: Biosimilar Policy (gov.on.ca)
Biosimilar Policy: Q&A for Pharmacists (gov.on.ca)
Quebec Announces Intention to Implement a Biosimilar Switching Policy
New Brunswick Becomes Third Province in Canada to Implement Biosimilar Switching Policy
Health Insight: Equal Health Access at Every Age: “The Rights of Older Adults Are Human Rights”
The Center for Biosimilars: Rising Costs Explain Why Canada Is Switching to Biosimilars
Retinal Physician: Biosimilar Therapies in the Treatment of Neovascular AMD: Biosimilar drugs could bring significant cost savings to retina therapy
Generics and Biosimilars Initiative: Law and ethics of switching to biosimilars in Canada
Generics and Biosimilars Initiative: Arguments against Alberta’s plans to switch patients to biosimilars Generics and Biosimilars Initiative: Ontario becomes third Canadian province to switch patients to biosimilars