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Ministry Status: Routine Monitoring and Engagement

Ontario Public Drug Programs

Patient Evidence Submission

Drugs Funded by Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program

The Ontario government is providing Ontario residents with better access to drugs while ensuring significant savings that are being re-invested in the system. Acting on the recommendations of the Drug System Secretariat's system-wide review of Ontario's publicly funded drug programs (2006), the government introduced a comprehensive package of reforms, including legislative, policy and regulatory changes. The cornerstone of the government's plan is to create a stronger, more effective provincial drug system. The five key areas enshrined in the The Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, 2006 are:

  • Improving patient access to drugs
  • Ensuring better value for money
  • Promoting the appropriate use of drugs
  • Rewarding innovations
  • Strengthening transparency and accountability

In order to strengthen accountability, two patient members have been appointed to the Committee to Evaluate Drugs (CED). Patient representatives provide meaningful public input into the overall drug-funding recommendation process.  One of the challenges for the patient representatives is in representing the diverse needs of all patients, particularly for diseases with which patient CED members are not familiar. Our goal is for systematic inclusion of patient evidence to be considered during CED discussions of drug reviews and evaluations.

The Ontario government has now established a formal process for patients or caregivers, through an advocacy group, to submit evidence for new drugs undergoing funding review.

Effective April 1, 2010, patient evidence submissions will be accepted from registered advocacy groups for drugs on the drug review schedule. This schedule represents all submissions for new single-source drug products and drug products with new indications received from the manufacturer on January 1, 2010 and onwards. The information provided in these submissions will be collated by the ministry and reviewed and presented by a patient member of the CED, during the CED discussions of societal values and patient perspective of the drug product. The Executive Officer makes the final funding decision, taking into consideration CED recommendations, which are based on clinical evidence and economic data, and public interest.  Find out more in the section on how drugs are approved.

Patient involvement processes in other jurisdictions with public drug funding programs have been taken into consideration in developing the framework in Ontario. Our patient evidence submission process will be re-evaluated within the next year to see what is working and what is not.

This Patient Evidence Submissions section provides information in the following areas:

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