Survey Overview

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada surveyed people diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis who had experience the non-medical switch in British Columbia and Alberta to gain further insights into the patients’ post-switch experience.

This survey complements the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada report prepared with CAG that identified that 1 in 11 patients would have worse clinical outcomes with a non-medical switch. The survey focused on patient experiences with being switched from an innovator biologic to their biosimilar medication.

Survey participants

Patients in British Columbia and Alberta with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who were switched from Remicade® to its biosimilar (Inflectra® or Renflexis®) or from Humira to its biosimilar (Hulio®, Idacio®, Hyrimoz®, Simlandi™, Hadlima™, Amgevita™).
  • 266 respondents 
  • 150 of the respondents experienced the biologic to biosimilar switch and were included in the analysis

Study method

  • Online survey
  • Promoted by email

Summary of findings

Before Switch

9 out of 10 patients

9 in 10 respondents were stable (in remission) for at least 2 years.


After Switch

5 out of 10 patients

5 in 10 respondents experienced a worsening of health immediately after the switch.

1 out of 10 patients

1 in 10 reported emergency visits or hospitalization after the switch.

1 out of 10 patients

1 in 10 reorted having to undergo multiple tests and/or follow up doctor visits.


1 to 2 Years After Switch

8.5 out of 10 patients

8.5 in 10 reported that they were still on the same biosimilar.

1.5 out of 10 patients

1.5 in 10 reported that they had to switch medications and were no longer on the biosimilar that they were prescribed.

Of those who reported worsening of health, symptoms included increase in frequency of bowel movements, bloody stools, abdominal pain, fatigue, anemia, cramping, bloating, constipation and weight loss.

Impact on their daily activities included missed days at work or school, additional doctors’ visits, emergency room visits, additional tests, out of pocket expenses and hospitalization.

  • 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.