Retinal diseases including Age-related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy cause irreversible vision loss in about 2 million Canadians. The goal of IFA in relation to vision and healthy ageing is to help ensure safe and appropriate treatments that are accessible to all Canadians. There is a growing trend worldwide to explore the use of biosimilars rather than biologics in various therapeutic areas.
Sound evidence-based policy must underpin governmental decisions in funding new treatments but also and equally important is the impact on patient treatment and the overall functional outcome. While biosimilars in ophthalmology have “not yet arrived” in Canada now is the time to bring together key patient advocates across various vantage points to gain a deeper understanding of policy development and the patient voice.
The Eye See You Biosimilars in Ophthalmology Program is committed to raising awareness about emerging biosimilars in ophthalmology and connecting Canadians to experts and thought leaders in vision health.
Vision Health Webinar
The vision health webinar entitled “Biosimilars in Ophthalmology: International Policies and Professional Perspectives” was convened by the International Federation on Ageing on 23rd March 2021 as a virtual platform to learn about good practices and recommendations for effective biosimilar policy frameworks through a discussion with global leaders in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Ashish Sharma and Dr. Geoff Williams
Vision Health Town Hall
The virtual vision health town hall hosted on 9th December 2020 by the International Federation on Ageing created a platform to learn about the patient perspective on switching from a biologic to a biosimilar treatment. This is an important discussion on the need to develop educational resources now to ensure Canadians can have meaningful consultations about vision care treatment options in the near future.
Perspectives on Emerging Biosimilars in Opthalmology in Canada: Summary Report of Expert Stakeholder Interviews
As biosimilars in ophthalmology rapidly approach, patient and advocacy organizations have voiced concerns over the current landscape, centred around three core issues: person-centredness, access and safety. Aligned with the WHO World Report on Vision, Integrated Care for Older People framework, and a recent report from the Conference Board of Canada, stakeholders identify opportunities for action to ensure emerging policies on biosimilars are effective and appropriate for all Canadians.
Vision Health Panel
The Vision Health Panel with leading experts in vision health and patient advocacy in Canada highlighted the importance of patient and caregiver education, in an era of emerging biosimilar policies.
Dr. Dawn Richards
Mr. Doug Earle
Ms. Louise Gillis
An Educational Framework is the Missing Element in Canada’s Biosimilars Discourse: A Brief Report
While biosimilars are a relatively recent phenomenon in Canada, international experiences have demonstrated lessons about safety, efficacy, and implementation policies. In both peer-reviewed and gray literature a resounding lesson of critical importance is the need for a sound educational framework for health care professionals and patients on the appropriate uses of biosimilars.
This report based on an environmental scan explores the critical elements of educational frameworks in other therapeutic areas which have contributed to effective consultations between clinicians and their patients for the safe and appropriate use of biosimilars.
What you can do
Learn more about biosimilars in ophthalmology, and the implications to your vision health, by registering for upcoming ESY initiatives: