What Patients need to know
Subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) are a current controversial topic in health care in Canada. Skin patients whose treatment plan may include a biologic (especially those with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, metastatic melanoma and hidradenitis supperativa) should be aware of this new category of drugs and the impact it might have on their treatment plan.
• SEBs are not “generics” and cannot be interchanged or substituted without the advice of a physician. This means the pharmacy should not change a prescription to a SEB without written direction to do so from the prescribing physician.
• Patients should know the trade name of the biologic therapy that has been prescribed for them and be sure that is the one they receive.
• While SEBs are designed to be very similar to the reference originator drugs with essentially the same clinical response in terms of efficacy and safety, it should be understood that SEB’s are different drugs from their reference or originator drugs and could have different side effects, different efficacy and different long term safety issues that have not been subjected to the same clinical trial research requirements as the reference drugs
• SEB’s have a short cut* to approval which means
– SEBs will likely be less expensive than their reference drug
– Safety and efficacy on the SEBs haven’t been subjected to the same testing requirements in Canada prior to approval
– More Canadians should have access to this class of treatment given that costs are lower
*Because the current approval process in Canada ( and in many other countries) allows manufacturers of SEBs to present clinical safety and efficacy data from the reference drug rather than having to conduct the same rigorous clinical trials themselves, the rationale is that these new ‘similar’ medications can be offered more quickly and at a lower price.
More information available at http://www.biotech.ca/en/policy-matters/health-bio/seb.aspx
Links of Interest
General skin health and educational sites:
- Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA)
- Canadian Cancer Action Network
- Canadian Dermatology Association
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
- Coalition of Skin Diseases
- DrugCoverage.ca - Your guide to reimbursement for prescription medications in Canada
- Eczema Channel on medbroadcast.com
- Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA)
- Itching for Answers - A diseases state website for Chronic Idiopathi Urticaria Patients
- Skin Care Guide
- Psoriasis Channel on medbroadcast.com
- SkinCell International Forum for Skin Disorders
- Sketch an Itch - providing Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Patients a voice to share their experience. You can share your story and it may be picked by an artist and then drawn to be added to the website!
- University of Nottingham - Centre of evidence based Dermatology
- World Health Advocacy