Innovative Medicines Canada
Budget 2019: Collaboration is Essential to Success of National Pharmacare
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:40 PM
OTTAWA, ON / ACCESSWIRE / March 19, 2019 / Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) welcomes the measures taken in Budget 2019 to make prescription drugs more affordable and more accessible to more Canadians.
''For any national pharmacare model to be successful, federal and provincial governments and all key stakeholders need be working together. That is why we are pleased to see that the concept of partnership is front and centre as government takes its first steps in the creation of a national pharmacare program,'' said Innovative Medicines Canada President Pamela Fralick.
Ms. Fralick noted that the creation of a National Drug Agency has the potential to streamline Canada's complex drug regulatory processes and should also shorten the time between when a new medicine is approved for use in Canada and when it is covered by a public drug plan.
''We look forward to engaging with the federal government to ensure that improving access to medicines for Canadians is at the forefront of the Agency's mandate, in addition to lowering costs,'' said Ms. Fralick. ''As the Agency begins its work on developing a national formulary, Canadians should expect their level of access to a wide range of innovative medicines be maintained or improved, regardless of whether they are currently covered by a private or public drug plan.''
Ms. Fralick indicated that IMC is especially motivated to work with governments in the creation of a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases. She noted that the industry has been exploring potential policy options to make these high-cost drugs more affordable and accessible to Canadians suffering from rare diseases, particularly within the context of a national pharmacare program.
Having been an active participant in the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare's cross-country consultations, IMC looks forward to learning more about how the government plans to bridge the gaps in coverage for the uninsured and underinsured in Canada when the Advisory Council releases its final report this spring.
However, Ms. Fralick noted the importance of considering any future national pharmacare model within the broader context of Canada's life-sciences regulatory environment. She noted that IMC was heartened to see that the new ''regulatory roadmaps'' announced in Budget 2019 will specifically address stakeholder issues and irritants, as was outlined in the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table ( HBEST) Final Report. As a driver of investment in the life sciences sector, Ms. Fralick also indicated IMC's interest in the announcement of a Strategic Science Fund.
''As the government rightly states, Canadians are innovators. We look forward to learning more about how the current regulatory environment will change through these 'regulatory roadmaps' to better align with industry realities. This will enable us to build on our sector's already strong position as the third largest funder of R&D in Canada,'' she said. ''We strongly encourage the government to apply this approach to the changes to the Patented Medicines Price Review Board, currently under consideration.''
About Innovative Medicines Canada
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.
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SOURCE: Innovative Medicines Canada