CanCertainty Coalition Releases Video Calling for Fair and Equal Access to Cancer Treatments Taken Orally
Patients in Ontario and Atlantic Canada face significant challenges
accessing oral medications due to their age, cancer type and where they
TORONTO, March 31, 2014 /CNW/ – The CanCertainty Coalition – an
unprecedented unification of more than 30 Canadian patient groups,
physicians, and health charities today released a powerful video highlighting the significant challenges cancer patients in Ontario and
Atlantic Canada face in accessing oral medications. The video’s message
is clear: with almost one in two Canadians expected to be diagnosed
with cancer in their lifetime(1), all Canadians, no matter their age, cancer type or where they live,
deserve to have CanCertainty – certainty that if cancer strikes them or
a loved one they will have fair and equal access to the treatment they
need, whether intravenous (IV) or oral.
Currently, Canada’s four Western provinces provide equal access to
provincially-approved cancer therapies, whether IV or oral. However, in
Ontario and all four Atlantic provinces, when a cancer patient needs a
provincially-approved oral therapy, they face significant paperwork and
hurdles based on their age, private insurance status, and household
income. Outdated reimbursement systems in these provinces can result in
significant out-of-pocket costs and delays in treatment. In contrast,
the same patient would access an IV treatment at no cost and no
wait-time regardless of income or insurance coverage.(2)
“A cancer diagnosis is not fair, but accessing treatment should be,”
says Deb Maskens, kidney cancer patient and co-founder, Kidney Cancer
Canada. “The lack of complete public funding for cancer treatments
taken orally in Ontario and Atlantic Canada is unfair and is creating
significant financial hardship for thousands of patients each year.
Today we are renewing our call for the governments of Ontario, Nova
Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and
Labrador, to join the rest of the country in providing fair and equal
access to all cancer treatments, no matter how they’re formulated.”
According to a report developed by the Cameron Institute, a
not-for-profit, public policy think tank, it is estimated an investment
of $28 – $93 million will ensure all patients in Ontario have access to
oral medications.(3) The investment is also estimated to lead to at least a 17 per cent
reduction in overall chemotherapy unit costs.(4) The same holds true, proportionally, for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
About the CanCertainty Coalition
The CanCertainty Coalition is a united voice of more than 30 Canadian
patient groups, cancer health charities, and caregiver organizations,
joining together to significantly improve the affordability and
accessibility of cancer treatment in Ontario and Atlantic Canada:
Aplastic Anemia and GIST Sarcoma Life Raft Group Myelodysplasia Association Canada of Canada Best Medicines Coalition Hope and Cope Bladder Cancer Canada Kidney Cancer Canada Brain Tumour Foundation of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Canada of Canada Breast Cancer Action Nova Lung Cancer Canada Scotia Canadian Breast Cancer Lymphoma Canada Network Canadian Cancer Action Melanoma Network of Canada Network Canadian Liver Foundation Myeloma Canada Canadian Skin Cancer Ovarian Cancer Canada Foundation Canadian Skin Patient Pancreatic Cancer Canada Alliance Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Prostate Cancer Canada Canada Cancer Fight Club Rethink Breast Cancer Carcinoid Neuroendocrine Save your Skin Tumour Society of Canada Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Testicular Cancer Canada Society of Canada Colon Cancer Canada The Canadian CML Network Colorectal Cancer Thyroid Cancer Canada Association of Canada Gastrointestinal Society Young Adult Cancer Canada
The campaign, initiated by Kidney Cancer Canada, is also supported by
the Physician Alliance for Cancer Care and Treatment (PACCT).
About Kidney Cancer Canada
Kidney Cancer Canada is the first Canadian-based, patient-led registered
charity established to improve the quality of life for patients and
their families living with kidney cancer. Kidney Cancer Canada
advocates for access to new treatments, provides support and
information to patients, and works to increase awareness of kidney
cancer as a significant health issue. This March during National Kidney
Month, Kidney Cancer Canada is leading the CanCertainty Coalition to
raise awareness for the need for fair and equal access to cancer
medications taken orally.
For more information, please visit: www.kidneycancercanada.ca.
(1) Cancer Statistics at a Glance. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=on (Last accessed February 14, 2014)
(2) D. Menon, T. Stafinski, G. Stuart, Access to Drugs for Cancer: Does
Where You Live Matter?” Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 96, No. 6, 454-458.
(3) Taylor, W. D. (2014). The Institutionalized Discrimination of Cancer Patients – Not What Tommy
Douglas Intended: A Business Case for Universal Coverage of Oral Cancer
Medicines in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
(4) F. T. Camacho, J. Wu, W. Wei, G. Kimmick, R. T. Anderson, R.
Balkrishnan, Cost impact of oral capecitabine compared to intravenous
taxane-based chemotherapy in first-line metastatic breast cancer, Journal of Medical Economics, Vol. 12, No. 3 , 238-245
SOURCE Environics Communications, Inc.