MONTREAL, QUEBEC – December 7, 2018 – GLATECTTM (glatiramer acetate injection, 20 mg/1 mL) has been added to the provincial drug plan formulary in British Columbia as the only glatiramer-based treatment covered for patients prescribed glatiramer acetate for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Launched in September 2017 by Pendopharm, a division of Pharmascience Inc., GLATECTTM is the first glatiramer-based treatment subsequent to the original glatiramer acetate. It offers a cost-effective glatiramer acetate option for Canadian patients living with RRMS, a chronic disease of the central nervous system characterized by inflammation and neurodegeneration.2
British Columbia is the first Canadian province to require a mandatory transition to GLATECTTM for continued coverage. The new SA criteria for glatiramer acetate released by PharmaCare specifies: As of November 27, all SA requests and renewals for glatiramer acetate for RRMS patients in British Columbia will only be approved for GLATECTTM; patients currently on the original glatiramer acetate must transition to GLATECTTM (in consultation with their prescriber) by May 28, 2019, to maintain PharmaCare coverage. Some exceptions may apply.*,1
GLATECTTM is provided in pre-filled syringes with the Sensigo® Autoinjector, a device designed to deliver daily subcutaneous doses of glatiramer to adult patients, facilitating self-injection.3–5
“Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition to GLATECTTM. Patients are our priority, which is why all GLATECTTM patients are eligible for the Ally Patient Support Program,” says Jean-François Lemieux, VP and General Manager of Pendopharm, a division of Pharmascience Inc. The Ally Patient Support Program offers injection support and training, reimbursement assistance, and financial assistance. Patients with questions are encouraged to call 1-833-ALLY100 (1-833-255-9100) to learn more.
“GLATECTTM is a prime example of how Pendopharm, a Canadian company, contributes significantly to the sustainability of the health care system in Canada by making important therapies more affordable and, therefore, more accessible to patients,” Lemieux says.
GLATECTTM is also the only glatiramer-based treatment covered for all patients starting on glatiramer acetate by the provincial drug plans of Ontario, Alberta, Québec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, based on specific criteria for the treatment of RRMS. Coverage criteria should be verified with each provincial health authority, as they may vary.
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with an estimated 77,000 Canadians living with the disease. RRMS is characterized by relapses during which new symptoms appear or existing symptoms get worse. These relapses are unpredictable, but clearly defined. During the periods between relapses, the patient goes into remission, meaning that he or she experiences full, or nearly full, recovery.2
*Patients who are medically unable to transition to GLATECTTM can submit a new SA request for exceptional coverage, which will be reviewed by SA on a case-by-case basis.
1. Limited Coverage Drugs – Glatiramer Acetate. British Columbia PharmaCare. Accessed on November 30, 2018. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/pharmacare/prescribers/limited-coverage-drug-program/limited-coverage-drugs-glatiramer-acetate.%20
2. MS Society of Canada: About MS. Accessed on July 23, 2018. https://mssociety.ca/about-ms.%20
3. Common Drug Review; Subsequent Entry Non-Biologic Complex Drug Submission: glatiramer acetate (GLATECTTM). Pendopharm, a division of Pharmascience Inc. August 2017.
4. GLATECTTM Product Monograph. Pharmascience Inc. January 16, 2017.
5. Sensigo® Autoinjector Instructions.
Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Québec with over 1,500 employees proudly headquartered in Montréal. Pharmascience Inc. is a full-service, privately owned pharmaceutical company that has strong roots in Canada and a growing global reach, with product distribution in over 60 countries. Ranked 56th among Canada’s top 100 Research & Development (R&D) investors with over $43 million invested in 2017, Pharmascience Inc. is the third-largest manufacturer of over-the-counter generic drugs in the country.
Pharmascience Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of prescription generic, over-the-counter, and behind-the-counter products as well as FDA-approved Canadian-made injectables. The company commercializes nearly 300 product families in 20 different dosage forms for over 2,000 products. In Canada alone, more than 45 million prescriptions a year are filled with Pharmascience products.
In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked Pharmascience Inc. among its list of top 300 employers. Pharmascience Inc. has strong long-standing philanthropic ties with its communities, both locally and internationally. For more than 20 years, Pharmascience has been working through Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) as a partner of choice to increase access to medicine. Pharmascience’s donations of essential medicine total close to $70 million.
Pendopharm, a division of Pharmascience Inc., aims to be a new partner in the treatment of MS in Canada. Pendopharm is strategically committed to growth and is actively engaged in licensing, partnering, developing, and marketing specialty prescription medicines, as well as consumer brands.