CanCertainty Coalition Releases Video Calling for Fair and Equal Access to Cancer Treatments Taken Orally

March 31, 2014

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 Outdated reimbursement systems in these provinces can result in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
and Labrador.

For more information about the CanCertainty campaign and to access the
video, please visit: CanCertaintyForAll.ca and YouTube.

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

    Canadian Breast Cancer                    Lymphoma Canada

    Canadian Cancer Action                    Melanoma Network of Canada

    Canadian Liver Foundation                 Myeloma Canada

    Canadian Skin Cancer                      Ovarian Cancer Canada

    Canadian Skin Patient                     Pancreatic Cancer Canada

    Cancer Advocacy Coalition of              Prostate Cancer 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.

Source: PR Newswire

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