Understanding the Drug Approval Process: From Clinical Trials to Public Reimbursement

Thank you so much to all who attended our webinar!

If you weren’t able to join us live, you can watch the recording of the symposium on our Youtube channel.

April 19, 2023

Start Time:
Starts: 8pm EST | 5pm PST | 6pm MST | 9:30pm NST | 9pm AST

This webinar will discuss the drug approval process starting from clinical trials to public reimbursement.

Our expert speakers will explain how clinical trials are designed, how to find and access clinical trials in Canada, and how to determine if they are right for you.

Attendees will learn how drugs get approved in Canada and who the stakeholders involved are, following the process from clinical trials and efficacy reviews to patient submissions and Health Canada approvals, and finally, provincial reimbursement.

Moderated by Kathy Barnard, Founder/President of Save Your Skin Foundation, Stage IV Melanoma Survivor

Our Key Presenters:

  • Dawn Richards, PhD, Director of Patient and Public Engagement at Clinical Trials Ontario, Founder of Five02Labs
  • Louise Binder, Lawyer, Senior Health Policy Expert at Save Your Skin Foundation


Kathleen Barnard is Founder and President of Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF), a national not-for-profit group dedicated to the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancers, melanoma, and ocular melanoma. In 2003, Kathy was diagnosed with stage 4 malignant melanoma. By the establishment of SYSF in 2006, her cancer had spread to her vital organs and her treatment options were limited. Fortunately, one of her sons discovered an immunotherapy trial treatment taking place in Alberta, Canada; this trial would save Kathy’s life. While her cancer treatments have finished, the battle with melanoma is not over for Barnard. Kathy prioritizes patient care and support. Kathy was a key player in federal tanning bed legislation for Canada’s Youth, and is the recipient of the British Columbia Community Achievement Award for her leadership in addressing and raising awareness around skin cancer issues. Additionally, Kathy is on the Conference Board of Canada advisory committee for Value of Oncology Innovation in Canada.

Louise Binder is a lawyer and health advocate who has been involved in informing the development of health policy and systemic treatment access practices from a patient perspective for more than 20 years. She started her work in this area in the HIV community in the early 1990s after her own diagnosis and before effective treatments were available for HIV.

She co-founded the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) in 1996, which successfully ensured access to treatments and quality care for people living with HIV by working with the federal and provincial governments and other relevant stakeholders to enhance drug review and approval systems, pricing policies and access to liver transplants for this community. She wrote a paper on universal drug coverage a decade ago while chair of CTAC.

She had a special interest in women’s issues, chairing the Ontario women’s organization Voice of Positive Women for more than a decade, and has been involved in these issues internationally as well. Two years ago, Louise began similar work in the cancer area and is presently a Health Policy Consultant with Save Your Skin Foundation. She has been recognized by many organizations for her work, including receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from her alma mater, Queen’s Law School; the Order of Ontario from the Province of Ontario; and two Queen Elizabeth II medals.

Dawn Richards, PhD, is the founder of Five02 Labs Inc., and Director of Patient and Public Engagement at Clinical Trials Ontario. With a PhD (Analytical Chemistry) from the University of Alberta, and experience in a variety of roles during the past 20 years, it is her diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis in 2006 that started her journey to combine her passion for science with making the most of her diagnosis. In her role at CTO, Dawn is charged with executing on CTO’s strategic pillar of patient and public engagement.