Alberta Non-Medical Switch Policy Update

Doctor discussing biologic and biosimilar medicines to a patient with IBD

Last December, the Alberta government introduced a policy requiring Albertans well-managed on a biologic to switch to a biosimilar treatment by July 1, 2020.  Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has been advocating for patient-doctor choice in provinces across Canada which is especially critical now as we combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to stay on a treatment that is working has never been more important to avoid pushing people unnecessarily into the healthcare system. 

The Alberta government has recognized this need and has made the following changes to their Biosimilar Initiative:

  1. Alberta GIs may again prescribe Humira for new Crohn’s patients actively flaring as a tier 1 treatment. This option recognizes the need for a subcutaneous treatment that allows for home isolation and helps reduce infusion centre burden; and
  2. Non-medical switch deadline has been extended to January 15, 2021: the switching requirement of the Alberta Biosimilar Initiative is postponed from July 1, 2020 to January 15, 2021. More information can be found on the Alberta Blue Cross info sheet.

Click here for information on Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s patient-doctor choice campaign.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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