Canadians rely on our health care system to provide care. With health care a provincial matter, cancer patients in one part of the country may receive a drug that is not funded in another province. Drugs are an important part of cancer treatment, yet patients often lack access to the most effective drugs. This is especially true in certain provinces and socio-economic groups. The increasing strain on health care resources due to Canada’s aging population and the rising cost of cancer treatments will significantly impact access to cancer drugs.
The Canadian Cancer Action Network believes that we can and should be part of the solution. Working with consultants, stakeholders and external partners, we have identified the following major issues Canadians are faced with today.
drug plan coverage and rising prices:
There are inequities in coverage by private and public drug plans – provincial insurance plans vary in the types and numbers of drugs covered. With drug prices rising, provinces and other insurers will face even more pressure to limit their coverage.
Our commitment to Canadians: We are working toward establishing dialogue with key stakeholders in order to discuss and consider what concrete actions can be taken to address both the disparities in insurance coverage and rising prices.
There is a lack of pan-Canadian standards for evidence-based drug treatments and alignment with coverage. Despite ongoing work in this area (including the work of the Joint Oncology Drug Review process) disparities in coverage across Canada remain. Provinces will for the foreseeable future continue to make final decisions on what to include on their formularies.
Our commitment to Canadians: We are engaging our stakeholders in order to address what actions or steps might be taken in order to improve standardization of coverage across the country.