Canadian Diabetes Association's report provides a vision to enhance the nation's drug review process
TORONTO, April 23, 2012 /CNW/ - According to a new report by the Canadian Diabetes Association, despite improvements to Canada's drug review process since the introduction of the Common Drug Review, significant challenges remain with the overall drug review process, making it particularly difficult for those living with chronic conditions such as diabetes to get equal and timely access to medications they need to protect their health.
"This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the inception of the Common Drug Review (CDR) and while it has resulted in improvements within drug reviews, challenges still remain affecting the overall process," says Michael Cloutier, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "The Association is advocating for further enhancements to the CDR within the overall drug review process based on examples of best practices in drug review processes internationally."
Based on the Association's report, In the Balance: A Renewed Vision for the Common Drug Review, the patchwork of public and private drug plans across Canada is failing to meeting the needs of Canadians, especially those with chronic disease who do not fall under specific public coverage or private insurance through employers or other sources.
Although a primary motivation for establishing the CDR was to provide more timely and improved access to newer and more efficient drugs as clinically appropriate, location continues to influence access to prescription medication covered under participating drug plans. British Columbia and Prince Edward Island had among the lowest percentages of drugs approved, and this has continued to be the case since the introduction of the CDR. Conversely, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick had among the highest percentages of drugs approved, and this has continued to be the case since the introduction of the CDR. (See attached backgrounder.)
Significant variations in the length of time also exist for drug funding decisions across participating drug plans. For provinces west of Quebec, the medium average review time has increased, while for those located east of Quebec, it has decreased. While certain jurisdictions have seen some improvements, the shortest review times in Canada are still far longer than those in peer countries.
In contrast, examples of drug review processes internationally have potential to improve access to medications across Canada through reducing timelines for approvals and optimizing patient engagement.
"We encourage CADTH to work closely with jurisdictional authorities, patient group representatives and industry towards further improvements and continuous change of the CDR process to meet the needs of all Canadians and our public healthcare system," adds Cloutier.
Visit diabetes.ca/inthebalance to review the full report In the Balance: A Renewed Vision for the Common Drug Review.
About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
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For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
National Manager, Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
Tel: (416) 408-7071