Drug Approval Process

How the Drug Approval Process Works in Canada

Health Canada

Health Canada measures the safety, impact and quality of drugs. After going through this process, a drug can be authorized for sale. Throughout the process, the safety and well-being of Canadians is the paramount concern. It is after a drug is deemed to be safe and have efficacy for patients that a decision is made about how each drug is covered/paid for by provinces and insurers.

pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) - Patient Voices for Drug Approval

You might be wondering how you can ensure your voice is heard when new medications to treat brain tumours are being approved for funding/coverage by provinces.

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is registered with the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR).  pCODR was established by the provincial and territorial Ministries of Health, excluding Quebec, to assess the clinical evidence and cost effectiveness of new cancer drugs and to use this information to make recommendations to the provinces and territories to guide their drug funding decisions. 

When a drug comes through this process, we will solicit feedback from all patients, survivors and families and will share it with pCODR. To ensure you are in the know about these opportunities, sign up to be an advocate and subscribe to the Advocacy enewsletter.

Once a drug is approved by pCODR it is up to each province to determine if they will cover the cost of the treatment through provincial health plans.

Quebec Cancer Drug Approval Process

Quebec does not participate in the pCODR  process and has its own review process. In Quebec, the Conseil du Médicaments makes the decision regarding medication coverage / reimbursement.

  • Pharmaceutical companies can submit the required medication information to the Conseil du Médicaments for review.
  • For 30 days from the medication submission date, stakeholder groups are given an opportunity to provide their opinions and concerns about the medication funding to the Conseil du Médicaments.
  • The Conseil du Médicaments reviews the medication safety and cost and compares it to other medications funded by the province. After reviewing the information, the Conseil du Médicaments announces the decision regarding coverage / funding. Funding and coverage decision are announced three times annually.
  • Learn more about Conseil du Médicaments on their website.
     

 

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