Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon also expanding use of biosimilars

June 6, 2023

gsc update

On March 24, 2023, following on the heels of Ontario, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it will also be expanding the use of biosimilar drug treatments offered through the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP). Under this biosimilar initiative, to maintain coverage, NLPDP recipients currently using one of the originator biologics Copaxone®, Enbrel®, Humalog®, Humira®, Lantus®, Lovenox®, NovoRapid®, Remicade®, or Rituxan® will be required to transition to a biosimilar version on or before March 31, 2024. More details can be found here.

Shortly after Newfoundland and Labrador’s announcement, on March 29, 2023, the Yukon government also announced its plan to enhance the public drug plan with biosimilars. Yukon is the tenth Canadian jurisdiction to implement a mandatory biosimilar transition program. Under this new policy, Yukoners enrolled in Pharmacare or the Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits Program may need to transition from their current biologic drug to a biosimilar. Yukoners will have six months (until October 3, 2023) to work with a health care provider to make the transition to maintain coverage. More details can be found here.

The NLPDP and the Yukon drug programs (Pharmacare and the Chronic Disease and Disability Benefits Program) are considered the payer of last resort; therefore, the impact of this provincial transition to GreenShield plan members is expected to be minimal.