Five years ago patients in Canada had no provincially funded access to any therapies. In 2012, the landscape has changed significantly. We’re proud of the many accomplishments we’ve made together as patient advocates. As we look ahead, we can see that some older challenges remain, and some new ones are on our radar…
Provincial Reimbursement of Afinitor and Torisel
Our efforts to raise the patient voice have been successful in so many provinces, but unfortunately not in all. For example:
- Afinitor is still not funded in the provinces of Manitoba or PEI. To date, patients in Manitoba have had case-by-case access, but our goal is to see the province include second line treatment on their official formularly. Patients in PEI have no access whatsoever.
- Torisel, a drug that was Health Canada approved MANY years ago, is still not funded in every province, most notably not in Quebec where the provincial government has denied access three times and has agreed to re-review.
For more information on what’s available in your province, check our drug access document on our website here.
Upcoming: Reimbursement of Votrient
Now that pCODR (pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review) has made its official recommendation to the provinces, it’s up to each one (except BC and QC who have already announced first-line funding without restrictions) to decide how and when they will reimburse Votrient. Our expectation is that the current Patient Assistance Program will close (to new patients only) in several months so there is an urgency for provincial drug programs to step up to the plate and follow the pCODR recommendation. We’ll be watching very closely.
New Treatments on the Horizon
2012 should be the year that we see several new treatments receive FDA approval in the U.S. We’ll be gathering information about those treatments and how patients might be able to access them in Canada. As always, we’ll be watching for Health Canada approval to follow the FDA.
Canadian Healthcare’s Bigger Picture in 2012 and Beyond
The 2014 Health Accord has been in the news a great deal since our Federal Government’s financial announcement just before the holidays. From a national perspective, we are concerned about the lack of commitment to national pharmacare (a national catastrophic drug program), lack of national standards of care, and lack of accountability for how the funds will be spent by each province.
Kidney Cancer Canada is publicly supporting the Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Nurses Association, along with many other patient organizations in calling for patient-centred principles for healthcare transformation. For more information on this joint statement, please see our website:
Stay tuned for how we will move forward in 2012. If there are issues in your province that we may not be aware of, please do let us know at: