National Newswatch

Ontario is moving more seniors and people on social assistance from original brand-name drugs for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease to cheaper “biosimilar” drugs despite concerns the switch could throw some patients off track.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced the change for Ontario Drug Benefit plan recipients Tuesday, saying biosimilars are “safe and effective” alternatives that will create financial room for the province to fund “more new drug therapies.”

Her office would not say how much money is being saved.

The transition will begin March 31 with patients required to be on biosimilar drugs by the end of 2023. Drug plan recipients on the medications involved have chronic health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

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