RARE Daily

Health Canada Seeks Input from Canadians on a National Strategy for High-Cost Drugs for Rare Diseases

January 28, 2021

Rare Daily Staff

Health Canada, the federal department in Canada that is responsible for the country’s national health policy, said it remains committed to a universal pharmacare program and is accelerating efforts to achieve this through a rare disease strategy to help families save money on high-cost drugs.

To that end, it is asking all Canadians, particularly rare disease patients and interested stake holders, to share their views on what a national policy should include. It said the feedback will help inform the strategy and ensure it helps patients get better access to the effective drugs they need. It has created an online questionnaire and encouraged citizens to review a discussion paper that lays out key considerations.

“Federal, provincial and territorial officials are working closely to build a strategy that works for all Canadians in the context of Canada’s health system and respect the role of provinces and territories in health care delivery,” Health Canada said.

To help Canadians with rare diseases access the drugs they need, the federal budget in 2019 proposed an investment of up to $1 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, with up to $500 million per year ongoing.

“Canadians with rare medical conditions face many unique challenges, and we’re committed to improving access to the medications they need,” said Minister of Health Patty Hajdu. “These public consultations are an important opportunity to hear from Canadians, and I encourage everyone to participate. The views and feedback you share will be used to inform our development of a national strategy to help Canadians get better access to the effective treatments they need.”

Photo: Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Health

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