Equal access to essential medications needed across Canada
New report makes releases recommendations to enhance country’s drug
OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ – The Canadian Diabetes Association today
issued a new report, Common Ground: Exploring Opportunities to Enhance the Drug Review
Process in Canada, recommending enhancements to Canada’s drug review process. Its intent:
to ensure that all Canadians have access to the drugs they need to
manage their health.
“Currently, equity and access depend on where people live as well as
their ability to afford medications. This is not acceptable,” says Dr.
Janet Hux, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Canadian Diabetes
Association. “These variations support the need for an examination of
the both the drug review process and pharmacare more broadly.
Approaches such as a national program to provide access to essential
drugs and a common drug formulary are important for all Canadians
regardless of where they live in the country.”
In June of this year, the Association engaged key stakeholders through a
Summit on a Renewed Vision for the Common Drug Review. Participants from patient groups, government, arm’s-length government
agencies, academia and others discussed this important issue and
identified three key priorities:
1. Ensure clarity regarding all aspects of the drug review process. A shared understanding by all stakeholders of the review process is needed, including review criteria and their application, noting that not all stakeholders have a common understanding or clarity of the review process or some key concepts. 2. Improve how patient experience, societal costs and benefits are included in the assessment of cost-effectiveness. It is unclear what criteria are used to evaluate cost effectiveness or how these factors are assessed. A better understanding is needed of these criteria applied by the Common Drug Review and governments in assessing cost-effectiveness. 3. Strengthen transparency, accountability and public disclosure. Health Canada, Common Drug Review, participating drug plans and manufacturers must be held accountable to disclose assessment criteria, evidence, and rationale for decisions with sufficient detail to allow stakeholders to understand the inputs that led to final drug funding decisions.
“For Canadians to have equitable access to a full range of medications
essential to achieve optimal health, the drug review process must
balance clinical effectiveness and patient experience with societal
priorities and resources,” adds Dr. Hux. “Moving forward, the
Association will continue to work with all key stakeholders to promote
access to essential medications through a more transparent and
responsive drug review process and through pharmacare coverage that
will meet the needs of all Canadians.”
For a free copy of Common Ground: Exploring Opportunities to Enhance the Drug Review
Process in Canada, please visit www.diabetes.ca/cdr-report/
About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable
organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with
diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our
professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education
and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease,
advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to
achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure.
Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association