GreenShield: Preferred Products for Adalimumab Biosimilars

February 1, 2024

With new biologics entering the market rapidly, the overall cost of biologic drugs continues to significantly impact the sustainability of drug plans, including ours. GreenShield’s evidence-based biosimilar strategy combines innovative programs and approaches to ensure the best value for treatment, while optimizing resources, supporting the uptake of biosimilars, and improving access to medications for all plan members.

The originator biologic, Humira (adalimumab), continues to be one of the world’s top-selling drugs for more than two decades, treating a range of inflammatory conditions. Currently, eight approved adalimumab biosimilars in the Canadian market have all demonstrated similar safety and efficacy profiles to the originator, Humira.

Effective January 15, 2024, the following biosimilar products will be split into two categories: preferred and non-preferred products, as outlined in the table below. This means, anyone starting adalimumab therapy, effective January 15, 2024, must use a Category 1 (preferred product) below.

The choice of preferred products was evaluated based on several criteria including the formulation and format of the product, the robustness of the manufacturer’s patient co-pay assistance program, the quality of the patient support program, and the manufacturer’s track record of drug shortages. All three preferred products demonstrated excellence in these areas and maintain the opportunity for plan member choice.

Category 1 (preferred products)               Abrilada, Hyrimoz, and Hadlima

Category 2 (non-preferred products)*    Amgevita, Hulio, Idacio, Simlandi, and Yuflyma

The preferential listing applies to all Health Canada approved indications including:**

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Plaque Psoriasis
  • Uveitis (adult and pediatric)
  • Crohn's Disease (adult and pediatric)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa

If a member under this program chooses to transition to an adalimumab biosimilar, they must select a Category 1 (preferred product) unless an exception applies.* 

* Products listed as Category 2 agents will be non-preferred products and will only be available to patients in exceptional circumstances (e.g., documented intolerance or adverse events to 2 preferred products).

** Preferential listing does not apply in Quebec and will only apply where GreenShield is the primary payor.

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