Alberta has become the third Canadian province to expand the use of biosimilar medications, following earlier policy decisions by British Columbia and Manitoba. Alberta residents, excluding pregnant women and pediatric patients, on an Alberta government-sponsored drug plan, who are prescribed a biologic drug, will be required to transition to the biosimilar version through their prescriber over the next six months. If there is a medical reason that prevents a patient from switching, a medical exception can be requested by a physician.
A new analysis by the FDA showed that greater competition among generic drug makers is associated with lower generic drug prices. For products with a single generic producer, the generic average manufacturer price (AMP) is 39% lower than the brand drug price before generic competition, compared to a 31% reduction using invoice-based drug prices, the analysis found. With two competitors, AMP data show that generic prices are 54% lower than the brand drug price before generic competition, compared to a 44% reduction using invoice-based drug prices, the agency said. With six or more competitors, generic prices using both AMP and invoice-based drug prices show price reductions of more than 95% compared to brand prices before generic entry. "Access to affordable medicines is a public health priority and bringing more drug competition to the market and addressing high costs are top priorities of the Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA," said Acting FDA Commissioner Brett Giroir.