On September 15th, 2009, the Canadian Cancer Action Network joined with the Public Policy Forum to host “Optimizing Access to Cancer Drugs for Canadians,” a one day symposium held in Ottawa, Ontario. (This event also included the development of a new and exciting partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society who hosted the event along with the Canadian Cancer Action Network and the Public Policy Forum.)
This unique event convened diverse stakeholders from across Canada providing a rare opportunity to address accessibility of quality cancer drug treatments in a neutral forum where opinions could be freely expressed and debated. This first time partnership between the Canadian Cancer Action Network and the Public Policy Forum provided stakeholders with an excellent starting point for bringing about real change in the lives of cancer patients. Immediately following the symposium, a letter was sent to the provincial and territorial ministers of health where ministers were informed about the event and urged to publicly commit to addressing cancer drug access.
The invitation-only event brought together leaders from key government departments, NGOs, employer and union health groups, patients and the research community.
On September 30th, 2010 the Public Policy Forum, with its partners the Canadian Cancer Action Network and the Canadian Cancer Society, brought together a group of senior leaders from all sectors for a one-day meeting to look at specific strategies to address key gaps in cancer drug access.
This forum built on our first symposium, held in September 2009, which brought together for the first time representatives from across all sectors to gain a common understanding of the issues. This meeting focused on creating actionable solutions. The program was kicked-off with a keynote address from Andre Picard, national public health reporter with The Globe and Mail, and featured leadership experiences from several Canadian experts.
The meeting agenda explored how jurisdictions from around the world are addressing the important issues of cancer drug access and discussed the potential application of these models in Canada. Participants engaged in a hands-on exercise to develop a set of criteria that can be applied across Canada to improve our systems of cancer drug coverage.
The program closed with a point-counterpoint discussion about cancer drug prices – focusing on how drug prices are determined and the implications of high cancer drug prices for patients, payers and health professionals.
The Public Policy Forum is an independent, not-for-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of government in Canada through enhanced dialogue among the public, private and voluntary sectors. The Public Policy Forum believes that good government, robust public policy and strong democratic institutions depend on the contributions of all sectors of society. http://www.ppforum.ca/