pre-DPPS Webinar – Health Care Systems in Canada: Where We Are Now

In advance of the upcoming Drug Pricing Policy Summit in Toronto in November, you are invited to join the webinar: Health Care Systems in Canada: Where We Are Now on Wednesday, October 24th from 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET.

This webinar will provide a broad overview of Canada’s drug approval process: Health Canada, pCPA, CADTH and PMPRB with the objective of updating participants on each of the organization’s roles and current initiatives in making drugs available to Canadians.

This is a primer for participants attending the November 13-14 2018 Drug Pricing Policy Summit: Patients Redefining Health Care and for others who would like to have a review of these systems for their interest.

To register for this free webinar, please CLICK HERE.

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Understanding the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) and how it affects those fighting skin cancer

Guest blog post by Elizabeth Eakin

Within Canada, many patients are forced to move outside of their homes to receive the treatment they need. As skin cancer is affecting more and more Canadians each year, a high volume of patients all over Canada are forced to travel in order to receive their suited treatment. Currently, Melanoma is the fasting growing cancer in Canada, with an estimated 6,800 diagnosed in 2015. As the incidence continues to increase, greater access and availability to treatment are needed. One of Save Your Skin foundations immediate goals is to provide melanoma patients with access to information about trial drugs as well as provide financial support to allow patients access to their suited treatment. This is an intricate and expensive task that takes knowledge of the drug process within Canada to fully understand.

Within Canada, drug authorization of sales is an extremely long process. It can take up to two years before the drug is approved for review. During these transparent years, the trial drug undergoes scientific testing’s regarding safety, effectiveness and quality of manufacturing. From there, the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug review products, Common Drug Review (CDR) and the non-oncology drugs review (pCODR) overlook the drug. The review time includes comparisons to existing drugs on the market as well as cost-effective evaluations. Once assessed, the review is sent out to all participating federal, provincial and territorial drug benefit plans in Canada, which make the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). They decide whether joint pan-Canadian negotiations will occur for the drug product. If they decide to move forward, one jurisdiction will lead with the manufacturer, while an agreement between all other participating jurisdictions will be signed. If an agreement can be reached between participating jurisdictions and the manufacturer, a letter of intent will be signed and shared with all participating jurisdictions. After the pCPA process, each jurisdiction is then responsible for individually making a decision on funding through their public drug plan. These plans are then entered into a jurisdiction specific product listing agreement with the manufacturer.

After this long process individuals can gain access to the pharmaceutical drug depending if the province supports and funds it. The specificity of which provinces/territories provide access and funding makes the process long and tumultuous. In order for each patient to get the treatment they need, many need to travel, adding further expenses and stress. For those struggling with skin cancer, the Save Your Skin foundation does all it can to provide patients with access to trial treatments as well as financial and emotional support. As a foundation, we want to help each patient receive the best individual care possible, so they can fight their hardest against this disease.

Figure 1: pan- Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance


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Next Webinar December 17: The Drug Evaluation Process – Patient Input Submissions and Responsible Advocacy for New Treatments


This webinar will dive into the process used to evaluate drugs, which concludes with recommendations about whether they should be covered by provincial formularies.   In particular, this webinar will look at how patients can engage in the process. Following the presentation, there will be a live Q&A. The presentation will address the following topics:

  • When and how can patients engage with the drug evaluation process?
  • What are the best practices to promote the patient’s voice?
  • Looking ahead: how can we improve patients’ opportunities to engage?

The webinar will be hosted by Bill Dempster of 3Sixty Public Affairs. As CEO of 3Sixty Public Affairs, Bill Dempster helps health charities, businesses and associations understand health policy and effectively engage with governments.   He applies a deep business, health policy, legal and government experience to find mutually beneficial solutions to complex problems. 

To register

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