No one knows what it's like to live with IBD. My doctor and I do.


What’s the problem? 

There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all" approach when it comes to your health and well-being. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) it's especially difficult to find medication that works. So when you do, it’s life changing. 

Now, thousands of people are being asked to change the medication that works best for them due to a planned “switch” by the government to something called a biosimilar. 

Anyone with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis may eventually be prescribed a biologic. So this policy could affect you or your loved one today or in the future.

Want to help another way?

You can send a letter directly to your Ontario representative and let them know that you think patients should not be switched from their biologic to a biosimilar for non-medical reasons!

Clipboard with steps to protect yourself from COVID-19

This doesn’t sound right. Tell me more.  

A biosimilar is similar—but not identical to the innovator biologic drug. But that doesn’t mean our bodies react the same way to it. 

While biosimilar medication is a safe and effective treatment, switching from the innovator biologic to its biosimilar may lead to disruptions and challenges for about 15% of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—and that’s not a risk we want to take when it comes to our health.

In response to this planned switch, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada worked with gastroenterologists from across Canada and people with Crohn's and colitis to develop the Non-Medical Switch Decision Matrix. This matrix protects the high-risk groups and supports decreasing healthcare costs.

Forcing high-risk patients on successful treatment regimens to change their medication is a risk that our health system cannot afford. Even if you are not on a public plan or biologic, this is an issue that may affect you in the future.

You have the power to influence the decision makers. And it starts with convincing the Ontario government to adopt the Decision Matrix.

What are the risks?

Sometimes, people have adverse reactions to new medication. IBD patients are no exception. 

1 in 2 people who have IBD experienced changes in their health after being switched from innovator biologics to their biosimilars.


1974-2024: Research, community, awareness, resources 

In April 1974, a group of concerned parents gathered for a meeting with a goal – to raise money for research into Crohn’s and colitis. At that time, research funding was practically non-existent. Awareness of the diseases was practically non-existent.  

On July 1, 1976, the Canadian Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis was born – the charity that is now Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.  

Since 1974, we have funded 400 grants, investing $145 million into world-leading Canadian research, including projects that offer realistic hope for a cure. In addition, we offer innovative services – youth camps, apps, and trusted information on-line, in person and by webinar. Equally important is how we reduce the loneliness and isolation of living with or caring for someone with Crohn’s and colitis. 

Join us for our next 50 years – we are just getting started!

Watch some of our founders talk about the beginnings of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 


Donate to impact our next 50 years!

50 years of discovery, impact and hope

In our first 50 years, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has partnered to achieve an unmatched record of improving the lives of people affected – along with hope for future impact. 


50th Anniversary logo/badge


Since our first research grant in 1976 to 2024, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has invested $145 million into research. Some of results: 

  • In 2023, the Genetic, Environmental and Microbial (GEM) Project published the finding that the gut bacteria combination of those who develop Crohn’s disease is different from those who remain healthy – years before they develop Crohn’s. This offers real hope for a cure. Read the full story
  • The 2023 Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada report offers a comprehensive snapshot of the state of care and implications for the future. First issued in 2008 and published every five years since then, these reports offer a deep understanding of the status of Crohn’s and colitis in Canada, an essential resource for anyone working in the field or studying these diseases. 

Other research milestones include: 

  • 1983-1990 – Research centres at the University of Calgary and McMaster University created with seven-year investments – and commitments from the universities to support the centres after that. They have successfully attracted and retained researchers 
  • 1990s -  First population database for Manitoba showed highest rates of Crohn’s in the world. Other provinces adopted similar methods, all showing high rates 
  • 2000 - Study identifies genes that contribute to Crohn’s susceptibility in families with early-onset disease, which helps identify targets for future studies 
  • 2000 - Study identifies genes that contribute to Crohn’s susceptibility in families with early-onset disease, helping identify targets for future studies 
  • 2000 - New practices developed based on learning that incidence of fractures among persons with Crohn’s or colitis is 40% greater than general population 
  • 2001 - Discovery that those with Crohn’s or colitis have a three-times greater risk of developing deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism 
  • 2015 - Study shows incidence of pediatric Crohn’s and colitis rising in Canada, and children of immigrants have similar rates as non-immigrants 
  • 2016 - Launch of Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence (PACE) network – Canada's first multidisciplinary network of Crohn’s and colitis centres of excellence 

Services for those affected  

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada offers an unmatched range of national programs that make life a little easier for those affected:  

  • Camp Got2Go gives kids with Crohn’s and colitis a full, fun camp experience 
  • Gutsy Peer Support offers online mentoring for newly diagnosed  
  • Free apps  
    • GoHere washroom locator lets people know of nearby washrooms – no questions asked  
    • MyGut helps track daily ups and downs to identify trends and insights  
  • Trustworthy information – brochures, educational events (online and in-person) and an online community 
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Connect is an online community offering support to navigating the ups and downs of living with Crohn’s or colitis

By the numbers

41   Number of ongoing funded research projects in 2024 
393  Total number of grants funded since 1974 
$145 million  Total amount invested in research since 1974 
$22 million Investment in the Genetic, Environmental and Microbiome (GEM) Project looking into causes of Crohn’s disease since 2008
139 Students who have received a $5,000 AbbVie IBD Scholarship
3,450  GoHere locations listed on app 
46,000  GoHere app downloads 
10,600 MyGut accounts
2014 Year Camp Got2Go started 
55 Number of Gutsy Learning Series recorded sessions
92,000  Views of Gutsy Learning Series online recorded sessions
1.1 million  Visitors to our websites in 2023 
$52 million  Raised at Gutsy Walks since launched in 1995 

We celebrate the hope and impact generated by our research and services. At the same time, they spur us to do even more.

Donate to impact our next 50 years!

More urgent than ever

The number of people in Canada living with Crohn’s or colitis is growing relentlessly: 


.9%25 figure inside a maple leaf representing .9%25 Canadians

in 2024, close to 0.9% of the population


1%25 figure inside a maple leaf representing 1%25 Canadians

in 2034, almost 1% of the population

The number of those being diagnosed is also increasing:


One in forty four minutes represented by a clock and icon of a person

1 every 44 minutes


One in thirty nine minutes represented by a clock and icon of a person

1 every 39 minutes

Of concern is the fact that the increase in numbers is being driven by diagnoses in children, particularly those under the age of 6. Canada has one of the highest rates of pediatric Crohn’s and colitis in the world. Traditionally, Crohn’s or colitis is diagnosed between the ages of 20-30. 

For more in-depth information, follow the link below  

Did You Know...

Timeline of our history