Surviving the tsunami of drug therapy expenditures(2)

16 Oct

Ms Lindberg’s remarks were the focal point of a meeting addressing the complexities of drug therapy from a variety of stakeholder viewpoints. The founding sponsor for the meeting was Bayer Inc. Other sponsors included the Father Sean O’Sullivan Research Centre and the Centre for Evaluation of Medicines at McMaster University, and the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. Those interested in a complete summary of the proceedings may find it on the web sites of the Centre for Evaluation of Medicines or Bayer. flovent inhaler

The importance of policy aimed at securing optimal drug therapy is emphasized by a number of reports released recently. The Canadian Institute for Health Information has highlighted the rapidly increasing expenditure in Canada on therapeutic drugs and natural health products. May 2000 saw the release of the Delta Report, which documents benefits provided by the Ontario Drug Benefit Program between 1992 and 1998. The release of more detailed technical reports arising from the Delta Report research program is anticipated in June 2000. In April 2000, Health Canada released its plans for realignment “to better serve Canadians”. A major aim of the restructuring, which includes the former Health Protection Branch and Therapeutic Products Programme, is to improve the scientific foundations of Health Canada and to augment the ability to evaluate new drugs, natural health products, devices and foods. Many anticipate that Health Canada in its new form will offer greater scientific insights on new therapies and provide an improved platform for subsequent analysis of cost effectiveness and cost utility.