CORD has partnered with the Economic Club of Canada (ECC) to present Canada’s Rare Disease Strategy in Toronto on September 24, 2015 and other cities are planned across Canada.
Location and Date:
Rare Diseases: A Public Health Issue
In just a few years, Canada has emerged from a state of “not needing an Orphan Drug Policy” to becoming an acknowledged global leader in rare diseases, especially in research and patient advocacy. Which makes now a very good time to focus our efforts toward implementing Canada’s Rare Disease Strategy.
Admittedly, Canada has been late to embrace rare diseases. It was just five years ago that CORD pointed out that Canadians had access to only half of the orphan drugs approved in the USA and/or Europe. Approved drugs were routinely rejected for coverage by the public drug plans. Even today, there remains a lag of two to seven years for patients to get access. Similarly, over the past 30 years, while the USA, Europe, and Japan have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in rare disease research, Canada did not target research funding for rare diseases until 2012. But things are changing rapidly, with Canada’s Orphan Drug Regulatory Framework due to be implemented imminently and Canadian research sites now among the leaders in international collaborative projects.
Similarly, in 2009 when the European Union called for the development of national rare disease plans, almost all member states responded, as have countries outside the EU, such as Mexico and Peru. Integral to the national plans are Centres of Reference, for which the EU will issue a call for proposals in fall 2015.
Meanwhile in Canada, we have pockets of rare disease expertise, but most are neither linked to general practitioners and paediatricians nor formally to one another. Hence the need for the coalescing force of Canada’s Rare Disease Strategy and the call to collaborate on a five-point action plan so that collectively we can:
A key to success in Europe has been endorsement of “solidarity” as a fundamental value and “equal access” as a guiding principle for all patients regardless of what they suffer from or where they live. Rare diseases are not limited to a small population but are regarded as a public health issue affecting everyone.
Intended Audience: Senior Leaders from business, government industry, academic and media organizations.
Media Coverage: The dialogues are intended to be a high profile event with extensive media coverage. CPAC will be invited, as will leading health reporters and advocacy groups from across the country.
Moderated by: The Honourable Fred Horne, Former Minister of Health, Alberta
March 29, 2017
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre 1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC
INNOVATIVE MEDICINES OFFER OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Why this forum matters: Innovative drug therapies are medicines that can: Offer a substantial improvement over existing therapies; for example, biologics can modify the underlying cause of a condition rather than just treat the symptoms; Address an unmet need; many drugs for rare disease are the first to be developed for that condition Target the (unique) characteristics of a subgroup of patients based on genetic makeup and/or other individual characteristics Cure the disease; for example, by eliminating the cause (hepatitis C virus), replacing abnormal cells (stem cell replacement), or modifying the faulty gene But innovative therapies come at a price that is often considered “unaffordable” under current assessment processes Individually, therapies tend to be much higher than the “old” therapies they are replacing The number of innovative therapies is increasing, as is the impact on drug budgets Our assessment processes do not address innovation; they were developed to determine how much incremental cost should be paid for incremental benefits to existing therapies and how to allocate drug budgets to achieve most overall health of a population, regardless of the conditions and need Individual high-cost therapies can have an identifiable impact on overall drug plan budgets, whether private or public Presented by: Tensions among stakeholders have increased, as have the rhetoric and distrust Regulators have been challenged for approving drugs that lack evidence of clinical effectiveness