As we reported the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare recently released an interim report calling for the creation of a national drug agency.  Yesterday, the federal government announced funding to implement this recommendation.

Specifically, the government intends to work with partners to implement the following:

  • Create the Canadian Drug Agency — to provide a coordinated approach on prescription drugs. Budget 2019 proposes to provide Health Canada with $35 million over four years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office to support the development of this agency, which would:
    • Assess the effectiveness of new prescription drugs.
    • Negotiate drug prices on behalf of Canada’s drug plans.
    • Recommend which drugs represent the best value-for-money for Canadians, and in cooperation with provinces, territories and other partners, identify which drugs could form the basis of a future national formulary.
  • Create a national formulary — a comprehensive, evidence-based list of prescribed drugs, to be developed by the Canadian Drug Agency and create a consistent approach to formulary listing and patient access across the country.
  • Create a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases — to improve access to the effective treatments for these diseases.

Further details of the government’s proposal can be found here. A complete copy of the 2019 Budget Plan can be found here.