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LETTER: We have a reprieve from biosimilar changes

letter-sta

I am somewhat surprised that Mr. Lambert ("Biosimilars and COVID-19," April 22 Gazette) does not know that the UCP government has decided not to do the changes from biosimilars to biologics at the present time!

I also use Remicade and was extremely upset by the possibility of this change to my medication which has helped me a great deal. I wrote to Minister Tyler Shandro – the St Albert Gazette was good enough to print my poem, after the initial response we all received. I did not give up on my fight. I expressed my thoughts to the Minister once more as the coronavirus started to become more lethal.

A few weeks ago, I called the office of Tyler Shandro and got a response from one of his assistants. I was told because of the coronavirus the government had decided to take the changes "off the table" for now because of the possibility of causing difficulties for those with diminished immune systems! The assistant told me that letters would be going out to everyone who would be impacted – perhaps they could leave my letter off this list. This tells me that perhaps those letters have not been sent!

I also told the assistant that perhaps this would be a good time to renegotiate with Jannsen, the producers of the medication, as they had already indicated that they would be willing to reduce the price! After all, it was a bottom line change! So we have a reprieve for now. Let us hope that they will rethink these changes and work at getting a price reduction, as I said before if "it ain't broke don't fix it."

Elizabeth Allchin

St. Albert