Canadians Facing Delayed Access to New, Innovative Medicines: Report

OTTAWA, May 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadians face wait times of about 449 days in order to get access to new, potentially lifesaving medicines in public drug plans, according to a new IMS Health Canada Inc. report commissioned by Innovative Medicines Canada.

The 2016 Access to New Medicines in Public Drug Plans: Canada and Comparable Countries analyzed reimbursement for new medicines in provincial drug plans comprising at least 80% of the eligible national drug plan population. The report finds Canada's public drug plans are seriously lagging compared to other similar OECD nations.

Canadians who rely on public drug plans are facing more than a year's delay to access new, potentially lifesaving treatments. This report shines the light on why access to medicines in Canada needs to be improved – patients must come first.


  • In Canada, 59% of cancer medicines were covered in public drug plans, ranking Canada in 17th place of 20 countries.
  • Canadian public drug plans placed reimbursement conditions on 90% of new medicines, ranking Canada 17th of 20 countries.
  • In Canada, only 23% of new biologic medicines were reimbursed in public drug plans, putting Canada in 19th place of 20 countries.


"Compared to similar countries, Canadian patients have access to fewer new medicines and also face long delays for the drugs that are covered under public drug plans." – Brett Skinner, Executive Director, Health and Economic Policy, Innovative Medicines Canada

"Canada needs to get these life-altering innovations to patients faster and without delay – no excuses, just do it." – Larry Taylor, living with diabetes


Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members' commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.


SOURCE Innovative Medicines Canada

Image with caption: "Access to New Medicines in Public Drug Plans: Canada and Comparable Countries - 2016 Annual Report (CNW Group/Innovative Medicines Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Heather Brennae, Media Relations, Telephone: 613-236-0455 ext. 527, E-mail:


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