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Ministry Status: Recovery

The ministry is resuming regular operations and supporting health sector stabilization.

Publicly Funded Drug Programs

New Drug Funding Program for Cancer Care

The New Drug Funding Program (NDFP), which is administered by Cancer Care Ontario on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provides about 75% of the overall funding for intravenous cancer drugs. NDFP funding is for new and approved intravenous cancer drugs administered in hospitals. The other 25% is for older drugs approved before the NDFP was created and is covered by the hospitals' budgets.

The Executive Officer decides what drugs are funded, relying on advice from an expert advisory committee.

Historically, each hospital paid for its own intravenous cancer drugs, which led to unequal access at different hospitals across the province. Decisions were not always based on evidence about medical benefit and value for money. The NDFP was created to ensure that Ontario patients would have equal access to high-quality intravenous drugs.

The list of NDFP-covered drugs, and the indications for which they are covered, are posted in the Cancer Drugs section of the Cancer Care Ontario website.

Information on approval of new drugs for cancer care is available on the CED/Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) Subcommittee page of the Drug Submission section of this website.

Evidence Building Program (EBP)

In March 2011, the MOHLTC announced a new Evidence Building Program (EBP) for cancer drugs. The EBP complements and strengthens Ontario's NDFP and the process for drug funding decisions in Ontario. The EBP seeks to resolve uncertainty around clinical- and cost-effectiveness data related to the expansion of cancer-drug coverage within Ontario.

For a drug to be included in the EBP, there must be mounting evidence of its benefits, such that funding for a fixed period will allow CCO to gather real-world data about its efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Data collected through the EBP will be evaluated and will inform a final funding decision by the Executive Officer of Ontario Public Drug Programs. Information on the EBP including FAQs and the inclusion criteria are available on the CCO website at: www.cancercare.on.ca/ebprogram.

Case-by-Case Review Program (CBCRP)

The CBCRP considers funding requests for cancer drugs (both oral therapies and injectable drugs) for cancer patients who have a rare clinical circumstance that is immediately life threatening (i.e. death is likely within a matter of months) and who require treatment with an unfunded drug, because there is no other satisfactory and funded treatment. Program policies, FAQs and how to apply to the CBCRP online are on the CCO website at: www.cancercare.on.ca/cbcrp.

While CCO administers the EBP and the CBCRP, the Executive Officer of Ontario Public Drug Programs makes all final funding decisions.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1–866–532–3161 (Toll–free)
In Toronto, (416) 314–5518
TTY 1–800–387–5559.
In Toronto, TTY (416)327–4282
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm

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