The federal government’s approval of generic drugs and biosimilars is set to kick off the process for the first phase of the government’s $1-billion national biosimilar program, with a decision expected later this year.
But it’s not just a question of who gets to make the best drugs for their customers.
The federal government also faces a daunting task in making sure the program, designed to ensure generic drugs are readily available and affordable, has enough funding.
For the first time, the government has set aside $500 million to pay for biosimilarecters, which will be located at major manufacturing companies and other institutions that produce products in Canada, and where the cost of a drug is not covered by the provincial or territorial system.
That’s a lot of money to spend on just one drug, but the federal government is looking for ways to speed up the process.
For instance, it has asked the provinces to contribute an additional $100 million for biosimilarization facilities.
And it wants to ensure that biosimilared drugs are available for people who can’t get them from a drugstore or pharmacy, and who are not likely to go to a doctor.
So far, the federal program has produced about 5,000 biosimilares for Canadians, of which more than 2,000 are approved.
And some of those are being used to produce new generics, which means the government is also planning to buy new biosimilar drugs to meet the demand.
For example, the pharmaceutical company Pharmacia has bought a biosimilar from the British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which it hopes to release in 2018.
The government has also set aside money to help the country’s largest pharmacy chain, CVS Health, get its biosimilarian program going.
The CVS-Prescription Medicine Corporation is currently funding biosimilarias for about 1,000 Canadians.
The company says it expects to have enough capacity to produce biosimilas for 20 million Canadians by 2021.
But it will also be able to produce 1.3 million of those biosimilases by 2023.
It’s a small but significant chunk of the overall $9.4 billion in funding the government plans to give to the drugmakers, but it could have a significant impact.
The Canadian pharmacy industry has been struggling to compete with the rapidly expanding U.S. drugmaker Walgreens, which is seeking to acquire a majority stake in CVS in a deal that could lead to its acquisition of several specialty drugstores and other specialty drug distribution outlets.
The companies are expected to make a final decision by the end of the year.
In an interview, Paulson said the government should ensure that all biosimilaring is done in the best way possible, adding that the government will do everything it can to ensure the program is able to deliver as many new biosimilades as possible.
He said that in addition to the biosimilar companies, the private sector will be involved in making biosimilaries available in Canada.
He added that the federal governments goal is to have biosimilarenas available in every Canadian by 2021 and to have them available to every Canadian in every province by 2021, and that by 2024.
Paulson said there is a lot to do.
But he said he hopes to have the government have a strong biosimilar program in place by the time the new year rolls around.
With files from The Canadian Press and the Associated Press