Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Feds Take a Seat at the pCPA Table

Reposted with permission from the author, 
On January 20-21, 2016, the provincial Ministers of Health met in British Columbia to discuss health care priorities and were joined for their second day of meetings by Canada’s new federal Minister of Health, Jane Philpott.  At the conclusion of their meetings, it was announced that the federal government will be joining:
  1.  The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA)
  2. Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) Working Group on Pharmaceuticals  

Implications

Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
  • Steeper Rebates: Although the federal Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) program has been negotiating product listing agreement with manufacturers for the past several years, this formal inclusion will likely increase the level of rebates offered to the federal plans.
  • Reduced Administrative Burden: There will be less administrative burden for manufacturers as they no longer need to separate negotiations between the pCPA and the federal plans.
The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance 
  • Capacity: The pCPA will now have another jurisdiction that can take the lead on pCPA negotiations.
  • Funding: Although no formal funding mechanism has yet to be established for the new pCPA office, including the federal government provides another source of potential funding for the office lead initiative.
Health System Reform
  • Intergovernmental Collaboration: The pCPA will now be a well-integrated F/P/T collaboration that will directly impact the reimbursement of prescription medications and could lay the groundwork for more bold initiatives surrounding a national formulary or catastrophic drug coverage program.

Background

  1.  Federal government Joins the pCPA  
The Canadian federal government joins Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon as a participating member of the Alliance.  Through various programs described below, the federal governments spends approximately $630 million in drug-related spending on an annual basis. 
The Government of Canada federal drug plans provides drug benefits to:
First Nations and Inuit: The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program of Health Canada provides supplementary health benefits, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, to approximately 808,686 registered First Nations and recognized Inuit to meet medical or dental needs not covered by provincial, territorial or other third-party health insurance.
Veterans: The Health Care Program of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) provides veterans and other eligible clients with health-related products and services. VAC's Prescription Drug Program is the second largest of the federal programs, serving eligible veterans and former members of the Canadian Forces. Each year 83,000 clients of 132,000 eligible members access VAC prescription drug benefits.
Canadian Forces: The Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) is the designated health care provider for Canada's military personnel, delivering medical and dental services at military installations across Canada and overseas. The Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) provides health care and services to95,000 Regular and Reserve Forces personnel in two distinct contexts: at home, which is referred to as in-garrison, and on deployment.
Federal Inmates: Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is the federal government agency responsible for administering correctional sentences for terms of two years or more, as imposed by a court. On any given day CSC is responsible for approximately 23,000 offenders, approximately 15,140 of whom are incarcerated (receiving direct health services in CSC institutions) and 7,750 of whom are on conditional release in the community (receiving health services in the community).
  1. Federal-Provincial-Territorial (F/P/T) Working Group on Pharmaceuticals
The federal government has been invited by Ontario to join an F/P/T working group on pharmaceuticals which aims to consider “a range of other measures to reduce pharmaceutical prices and improve prescribing and appropriate use of drugs, while striving to improve health outcomes.” The working group will also “explore approaches to improving coverage and access to prescription drugs for Canadians.”
In June 2015, a meeting of the provincial health ministers resulted in a call to have some form of national pharmacare by several provincial and territorial health ministers.  While the Minister of Health for Ontario appeared to be strongly supporting some form of pharmacare and has initiated provincial consultation sessions on this subject, it is unclear how committed other provinces are to this notion. In fact, some of the other health ministers at the June meeting said federal leadership is crucial to efforts to create a universal pharmacare system
The topic of a national pharmacare program was not on the agenda of the Health Ministers meeting but it appears that the creation of this working group is aimed at addressing some of the key issues associated with prescription drugs – namely improving coverage and access for all Canadians.
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New cervical cancer portal provides essential information for Canadian women

Ottawa, December 10, 2015: The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network is pleased to announce the launch of its newest website portal on cervical cancer.

Approximately 1,050 Canadian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, and this number increases every year.  For those dealing with this type of cancer, the journey from diagnosis to treatment and management of the disease is rarely a road travelled alone. Spouses, partners, children, extended family, friends and even colleagues may share in the burden of this life-changing disease.
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) recognizes the heavy burden a diagnosis of cervical cancer places not only on women who are diagnosed with it, but on their families and extended support networks. In response, CCSN has created an online portal recognizing and addressing the experience of cervical cancer, whether in its early or more advanced stages.

"It is critically important to address the information needs and concerns of women diagnosed with cervical cancer and their families,” said Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. "Each woman will have her own experience of cervical cancer. Aside from purely medical considerations, the journey includes many practical decisions and adjustments. Each of these changes has the potential to impact those closest to them. Providing families and other caregivers a place to find reliable information they can relate to, and a place to connect, can help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with a cervical cancer diagnosis.”

About the Portal

The Cervical Cancer Portal provides a trusted and accurate source of information and resources. Like the spokes of a wheel, sections on the portal centralize information on the diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer, provide information and resources on financial planning and address the issues that caregivers face. It also provides detailed information that the HPV test for cervical cancer is more accurate than the Pap test in that it detects cancer risk earlier and prevents more deaths than the Pap test.

The Cervical Cancer Portal includes the following sections:
  • Cervical Cancer Screening: the HPV and Pap test
  • HPV and cervical cancer risk factors
  • Diagnosis of cervical cancer
  • Cervical cancer treatment
  • Living well with cervical cancer
  • Caregiving and cervical cancer 
  • Financial information and resources
Social media platforms including a cervical cancer Twitter account, @cervicalcanca, as well as the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s general Twitter account, @survivornetca.

About the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer. CCSN encourages and conducts research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for survivors in Canada.

This website portal was made possible by the generous support of Qaigen.

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For additional information or interviews:
Jackie Manthorne, President & CEO
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
1-613-898-1871
jmanthorne@survivornet.ca

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Increased melanoma diagnoses basis for new Melanoma Portal

Ottawa, November 3, 2015: The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network is pleased to announce the launch of its newest website portal on melanoma at http://survivornet.ca/en/cancer_basics/melanoma_portal.

Approximately 6,500 Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma annually, and this number increases every year.  For those dealing with this type of cancer, the journey from diagnosis to treatment and management of the disease is rarely a road travelled alone. Spouses, partners, children, extended family, friends and even colleagues may share in the burden of this life-changing disease.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) recognized the heavy burden a diagnosis melanoma places not only on those who are diagnosed with it, but on their families and extended support networks. In response, CCSN has created an online portal recognizing and addressing the experience of melanoma, whether in its early or more advanced stages.

"It is critically important to address the information needs and concerns of melanoma patients and their families,” said Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. "Each patient will have his or her own experience of melanoma. Aside from purely medical considerations, the journey includes many practical decisions and adjustments. Each of these changes has the potential to impact those closest to them. Providing families and other caregivers a place to find reliable information they can relate to, and a place to connect, can help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with a melanoma diagnosis.”

About the Portal

The Melanoma Portal provides a trusted and accurate source of melanoma information – and connection. Like the spokes of a wheel, sections on the portal centralize information on the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, provide information and resources on financial planning and address the issues that caregivers face.
The portal includes the following sections: 
  •         About Melanoma
  •          Prevention
  •          Risk factors, Signs and Symptoms
  •          Diagnosis
  •          Treatment of Melanoma
  •          Living Well with Melanoma
  •          The Side-Effects of Treatment and Melanoma
  •          Mental Wellness
  •          Caregiving
  •          Financial Information and Resources

 Social media platforms including a melanoma Twitter account, @melanomacan as well as the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s general Twitter account, @survivornetca .

About the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer. CCSN encourages and conducts research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for survivors in Canada.


This website portal was made possible by the generous funding of Merck. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day!

This October 13th, during breast cancer awareness month, CCSN recognizes the unique experience of metastatic breast cancer patients. Approximately 30 percent of women and men diagnosed with breast cancer will at some point be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and while metastatic breast cancer can be treated, it currently cannot be cured.

This does not mean that those living with metastatic breast cancer cannot enjoy good quality of life! However, the needs and issues facing metastatic breast cancer patients are vastly different.

  • Breast cancer support groups are mostly composed of newly or recently diagnosed patients and those who have metastatic breast cancer often do not have much in common with them. Unfortunately, metastatic breast cancer support groups are few and far between. 
  • Women and men living with metastatic breast cancer are in and out of treatment, hoping that their cancer will stop its progression so they have a decent quality of life. 
  • They need ongoing help both accessing and navigating the healthcare and cancer care system. Metastatic breast cancer patients and their families need ease of connection to accurate, updated clinical information, improved access to clinical trials, and readily available psychosocial support. 

During this month of October, when there is so much awareness raising of and fund raising for breast cancer research, we must not forget the 30 percent whose breast cancer has metastasized.

"It is critically important to address the information needs and concerns of those living with metastatic breast cancer,” says Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. "Aside from purely medical considerations, the metastatic journey includes many practical decisions and adjustments. Each of these changes has the potential to impact those closest to the patient. As well, metastatic breast cancer patients often feel isolated and ignored, especially during October when they often feel that they do not have a voice in most breast cancer awareness and fundraising campaigns. We hope that our website section on metastatic breast cancer provides them a place to learn, to find resources and to share their experiences.”

This website section can be accessed here.

It includes information on:
  • What makes metastatic breast cancer different?
  • Statistics and research in metastatic breast cancer
  • Metastatic breast cancer blogs
  • Bone health in metastatic breast cancer patients
  • Think before you pink campaign
  • Resources for metastatic breast cancer patients

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaims National Cancer Survivors Day

This morning, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed National Cancer Survivors Day in recognition of the nearly one million cancer survivors living in Canada today. This annual celebration of life took place at City Hall in the presence of representatives of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network and Prostate Cancer Canada Network Ottawa.
On National Cancer Survivors Day and the days following, thousands of cancer survivors and their families and supporters gather across the globe to honour cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspiring. It is also a time to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
Mayor Watson stated that “a cancer survivor is defined as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of their life; there are nearly one million cancer survivors living in Canada today.”
While early diagnosis and improvements in treatment have resulted in cancer patients living longer, much remains to be done to ameliorate the physical, emotional, and financial effects of cancer on survivors as well as including cancer survivors in decision-making on issues which affect them within Canada’s cancer care and healthcare system.
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer and encourage research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for survivors in Canada.
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For information or an interview please contact:
Jackie Manthorne
President & CEO
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
613-898-1871
613-710-3636 (cell)
jmanthorne@survivornet.ca
Photos attached.
 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Take part in CCSN's important survey on Xgeva!

The purpose of this survey is to provide the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) with insights and perspectives about the use of denosumab (Xgeva) for the prevention of skeletal-related events due to bone metastases from solid tumours. 

The information gathered from this survey will be used in order to prepare a patient evidence submission to the CADTH Common Drug Review. Please note that your personal information is never shared or disclosed, but is used only by CCSN for input for statistical purposes.

This survey will be open until noon on June 11, 2015 to enable us to prepare our patient evidence submission on June 16, 2015.


Access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2CK7HD9

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A New Patient Assistance Program For Medical Cannabis Use in Canada



One of our partners, CannTrust, a licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis in Canada, has introduced a comprehensive patient assistance program for medical cannabis compassionate use in Canada.

Known as the CannTrust Access program, it’s available immediately to eligible Canadians whose health plans do not reimburse medical cannabis.

Qualified patients will be eligible for up to 30 grams of medical marijuana per month.  Three levels of financial assistance are available through the program depending on the patient’s income status, which will be reassessed every six months.  CannTrust anticipates that a number of patients’ financial status will qualify them to receive their monthly order at no cost. 

CannTrust Chairman Norman Paul said in a news release: “As a company founded on the principles of patient access, CannTrust took the bold step of creating the innovative CannTrust Access program with a goal of offering broad access to medical cannabis for patients in need.”

As we know patient assistance programs are common among the pharmaceutical industry as a financial support tool for cancer patients in need to treat and manage their disease.  It’s good news to learn that CannTrust believes having a limited income shouldn’t marginalize a person’s access to medicines they need. In fact, CannTrust is committed to helping make its medical cannabis available where and when it is needed most.  

Details to register are available at CannTrust.ca