Drug Reimbursement Policies in Canada—Need for Improved Access to Critical Therapies
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Public drug programs in Canada are increasingly implementing cost management strategies. A multidisciplinary review of these strategies--specifically, the special authorization (SA) process--found that implementation of the SA practice is costly and causes inequity in access, underutilization, and delays in treatment for urgently required therapies, all potentially leading to negative health outcomes. We present potential solutions and a set of recommendations for decision-makers to base reimbursement decisions on the best clinical evidence, eliminate regional variability in access, ensure timely access to urgently required treatments, and monitor the impact of reimbursement policies on health outcomes.
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