The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and the Eye See You (ESY) campaign partnered with the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM) to conduct a web-based quantitative survey of practicing ophthalmologists in Canada to understand their attitudes, beliefs, and intentions towards biosimilar medications. Prescribers were asked for their views on how products are identified; influence of the cost of biologicals and biosimilars when prescribing; prescribing biosimilars and switching to biosimilars; pharmacist-level switching to biosimilars; and automatic substitution of biosimilars.
Results: The survey revealed that most ophthalmologists are not influenced by the cost when prescribing biological products and they are confident prescribing biosimilars and switching patients to biosimilars where appropriate. Overall, 90% of practitioners think they should have the sole authority to decide what biological is dispensed to patients and over 80% are not comfortable with third-party (i.e. government) switching for non-medical reasons. The majority of physicians said that the system that would best serve the patients of their province would be one in which multiple products (including originator/reference biologics and biosimilars) are reimbursed, biosimilars are encouraged for new patients, and there is no automatic substitution or forced switching.
Conclusions: The survey uncovered information about how Canadian ophthalmologists feel about the use of ophthalmic biosimilars, specifically on biological/biosimilar product identification aongside prescribing and switching to biosimilars for ocular use.
Survey Results by PDF:
Survey published in GaBI journal: