Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) announces expansion of Common Drug Review (CDR) program

    Common Drug Review to be expanded to new indications for old drugs

    OTTAWA, April 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Agency for Drugs and
Technologies in Health (CADTH) today announced that it has received approval
and funding from federal, provincial and territorial governments to expand its
Common Drug Review (CDR) program to new indications for old drugs.
    The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and
cost-effectiveness of drugs compared to alternative therapies, and provides
formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada
(except Québec).
    "We are very pleased with the jurisdictions' support for the CDR's role
in assessing whether new drugs bring improved health outcomes and provide good
value," said Mike Tierney, CADTH's Vice-President of CDR. "Although
pharmaceuticals have the potential to significantly improve the health of
Canadians, prescription drug expenditures are increasing by approximately
10% annually. Therefore, evidence-based assessments of drugs are more critical
than ever before."
    The CDR's original focus was new drugs. In the June 2006 National
Pharmaceuticals Strategy progress report, the Health Ministers noted the
benefits of the CDR's collaborative, national approach, and recommended a
staged expansion of the program, beginning with new indications for old drugs.
    "CADTH is now working to put the necessary resources and procedures in
place to support this expansion," said Tierney. "We expect to begin accepting
submissions for new indications for old drugs this fall."
    Federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers established the CDR
program in 2002 to avoid duplication of drug reviews by public drug plans,
improve the quality and consistency of the review process, and address the
differences in drug coverage among the drug plans.
    The CDR has achieved these original objectives. It has replaced
18 separate review and recommendation processes. The program has issued
reviews and recommendations for 70 new drugs to the participating drug plans.
The CDR has consistently met its review timeframes, and drug plan decisions
have followed CDR recommendations more than 90% of the time.
    In addition, the CDR has increased the transparency of the drug review
process in Canada by publishing drug review status updates, and
recommendations and reasons for recommendations; by providing opportunities
for drug manufacturers to comment on draft reviews and recommendations; and by
including public members on its expert advisory committee.

    The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is a
national body that provides Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial
health care decision makers with credible, impartial advice and evidence-based
information about the effectiveness and efficiency of drugs and other health

For further information:

For further information: Sandy Fox, Senior Communications Officer,
Common Drug Review, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health,
(613) 226-2553,;

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Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

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