Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Report: Health Canada Taking Too Long to Approve New Drugs

Report: Health Canada Taking Too Long to Approve New Drugs

Posted 06 April 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Health Canada takes an average of 527 days to approve new pharmaceutical products and another 358 days to approve the same drugs for reimbursement under the country's provincial drug plans, reports a new study.

The study, authored by the libertarian-leaning Fraser Institute, claims Canada's "bureaucratic layering creates unnecessary delays and deprives many Canadians access to new medicines."

"That's more than 17 months for Health Canada to approve a new medicine for public use, then the provinces take up to another year to make a decision about coverage," said Mark Rovere, Fraser Institute associate director of health policy research and co-author of  the report.

The disconnect between government and private reimbursement decisions is also evident, claims the report. A total of 62.9% of new drugs approved in 2006 were covered by provincial drug plans as of 2012, while insurers covered 88.6%--a difference of more than 40%.

The report calls for Health Canada to rely more heavily on its regulatory counterparts at the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency, as well as on international standards.

Read more:

Pharma Times - Canadians "waiting two-and-a-half years for new drugs"

The Fraser Institute - Sluggish government approvals create two-and-a-half year wait for Canadians to access new medicines

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