Biologics and Biosimilars

Biologic and Biosimilar drugs – same but different. SO WHAT?

When it comes to prescription drugs, you have the brand name drug and the generic equivalent – and that’s really all you need to know, right? Not any more. Pharmaceutical technology is always changing, always innovating, to bring you more choices, often at lower costs…yet with the same efficacy.

Today you need to know two new terms: biologics and biosimilars.

Biologics are large, complex proteins made from living organisms through highly sophisticated manufacturing processes. Insulin is an example. There are about 300 biologics available to be prescribed.

Examples of biologic drugs include insulin, growth hormones and antibodies and can treat diseases and conditions such as:

    • Diabetes
    • Psoriasis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

Biosimilars are similar, but not identical, to the original biologic. To be approved, they must demonstrate they are highly similar to the original biological product. They must also produce comparable results and be just as safe.

The availability of both biologic drugs and biosimilar drugs can give your doctor –and you – more choice when it comes to determining the best medication. That’s why C.A.R.P. thinks it’s important for you to know more about these categories. Be informed. Your health depends on it.

Health Canada -Biosimilar biologic drugs in Canada: Fact Sheet

C.A.R.P. Advocacy Moments 


To learn more about biologic and biosimilar drugs:

Educational Feature. Supported via an educational grant from Janssen Canada.