Rx&D Welcomes the New Recommendations Implemented to Improve the Effectiveness and the Quick Approval of Cancer Drugs in Quebec

OTTAWA, May 25, 2011 /CNW/ - As an industry at the forefront of discoveries and of the development of drugs and vaccines that improve and save lives, research-based pharmaceutical companies (Rx&D) support the efforts of the Quebec government that aim to give priority to reviewing cancer drugs and also increasing quicker access by patients to new cancer treatments.

"The gradual implementation of recommendations from the report entitled: Rapport du Groupe de travail sur le processus d'évaluation des médicaments anticancéreux  represents a key development that cancer patients and health professional will value", announced Claude Perron, Chair of the Quebec Regional Committee for Rx&D and President and General Manager of Shire Canada Inc.

This new initiative responds to widespread calls, particularly by cancer specialists in Quebec, for better access and a better choice for cancer patients. The government has indicated its intention to allow quicker access by Quebecers to new cancer drugs that will be introduced on the market.

"The announcement made by Minister Bolduc adds to major efforts previously made by the government of Quebec in the fight against cancer. We reiterate our desire to work with the government to ensure that patients with cancer receive the best treatment possible. This new review and approval process for cancer drugs will be conducted with more active participation by experts which will reduce wait times and ensure that those affected have quick access to treatment," stated Russell Williams, President of Rx&D.

"Our community completely supports optimal drug use because we firmly believe that patients must have access to the best therapies possible when needed. In the fight against cancer, leading oncology drugs can make all the difference. We sincerely hope that the government puts in place a clear tracking system to allow patients to follow the positive progress on access as soon as the new drugs are approved," he added.

"When faced with a devastating cancer diagnosis, patients must know that they will have access to the most appropriate treatment," declared Mr. Williams. Today, 800 medicines and vaccines are in the process of being developed, therefore giving new hope in the fight against this insidious disease."

"As a society, Quebec has recognized that an economy built on knowledge, intellectual property and access to new therapies is a priority that benefits both the health and savings of Quebecers. This choice has been shared by every successive government over the years. Because of this choice, Quebec has managed to attract nearly 45% of all national R&D investments from Rx&D member companies.

About Rx&D

Rx&D is an association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, whose members are dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 15,000 men and women who work in 50 member companies and invest over one billion dollars annually in research and development to fuel the Canadian economy built on knowledge. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our members are committed to working in partnership with governments, health care professionals and stakeholders while complying with the rules of professional conduct.


For further information:

Christine Choury
Media Relations
Telephone: 613-236-0455
Email: cchoury@canadapharma.org

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