SOURCE: Canadian Health Policy Institute


May 31, 2016 06:30 ET

Delayed Access to 14 New Cancer Medicines in Canada's Public Drug Plans Wasted Potential Health Gains Worth Over $800 Million Annually

TORONTO, ON --(Marketwired - May 31, 2016) - A new study estimates that the economic cost of lost potential health gains from delayed access to 14 new cancer medicines in Canada's public drug plans was worth up to $823 million annually.

The study estimated the number of potential patients impacted by provincial drug insurance coverage delays for a number of selected oncology drugs approved by Health Canada between 2010 and 2013 and the associated economic cost of these delays.

It found that over 25,000 patients were potentially negatively impacted by delayed access to the 14 oncology drugs indicated for the treatment of metastasized solid tumours in nine provinces at the end of March 2016.

Based on the improved patient survival rates demonstrated for the 14 drugs in randomized clinical trials and using three conservative estimates of the value of a life-year, the middle estimated cost of the delays was found to be almost $247 million, with lower and upper estimates of over $183 million and more than $823 million.

The study was authored by Dr. Nigel Rawson (Ph.D) and was published at Canadian Health Policy the online journal of Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI).

Rawson explained why the findings are important: "Most of the survival gains in the treatment of cancer are attributable to improved drug treatments. However, new drugs are only of value to patients if they can access them in a timely manner. The economic cost of the lost potential health gains from delays is enormous. This analysis has demonstrated the need for more timely reimbursement of effective oncology treatments in Canada."

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Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI) is an independent think-tank dedicated to providing information and ideas for a better health system. 

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