On a chilly, rainy Friday evening in downtown Toronto @getgutsycanada supporters came together to voice their concern for non-medical switching. The impromptu rally formed leveraging the opportunity to get in front of the Ontario PC party as they came to the Albany Club to hear Premier Kenney speak. As provinces across Canada consider ongoing support for biologics, the time is now to ensure provincial policymakers understand how critical these medications are in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. By implementing a non-medical switch policy, both the BC and Alberta governments are ignoring evidence that shows a forced biologic to biosimilar switch can result in disease regression. People affected by IBD know first-hand how difficult it is to get to a treatment that works for them and provides stability. The question is why are governments messing with people’s wellbeing?
During the rally, we had many meaningful conversations with government officials. Thanks to Ontario PC Party President, Brian Patterson as well as Peter Bethlenfalvy (MPP Pickering-Uxbridge) for spending time with us to better understand the issue.
Premier Kenney says he understands the issue well, but unfortunately he doesn’t understand IBD. If he did, he would know how difficult it is to achieve stability, he would know that there are limited medication options for Crohn’s and colitis patients and ultimately he wouldn’t be playing around with vulnerable people’s health. IBD patients should not be used as tools to fuel a billion dollar biosimilar market. Furthermore, biologic manufacturers have openly stated that they will match pricing. So if cost isn’t the driver, what is?
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada continues to call on government for patient-doctor choice. Patient-doctor choice means that the doctor should be the one to decide when a patient needs to switch medications, not the government.
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