Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I also want to thank the witnesses for joining us.
The industry and several patient advocacy groups recognize the importance of modernizing the existing basket of comparator countries to ensure a more standardized and accurate comparison of different categories of drugs. However, there are still concerns about patient access to treatment.
The Collective Oncology Network for Exchange, Cancer Care Innovation, Treatment Access and Education has strong concerns about patient access to innovative cancer treatments. In my view, the most significant criticism is the following: “Moreover, considering only the price without taking into account the treatment's value in terms of the health of patients and their caregivers, and the resulting economic and social benefits, constitutes a false dichotomy.”
In its submission, the network noted that, at the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, or CADTH, four factors were considered: clinical benefit, cost effectiveness, patient values, and feasibility of adoption. It acknowledged the need for more flexibility and pragmatism in the evaluation.
The national institute of excellence in health and social services, or INESSS, is another organization that takes these values into account in the establishment of prices.
The network noted a shortcoming in the analytical approach to the reform. It stated the following:
This limited analysis does not take into account the overall value of these drugs to the health care system or the positive social and economic impact of having patients recover more quickly and resume their normal daily activities, including getting back to work. It also does not take into account the money saved in terms of care, long-term disability claims, drug claims and the use of the health care system. It overlooks the economic contributions made by individuals recovering from an illness when they resume their active lifestyle, their normal purchasing habits and their contributions to social programs.
Mr. Clark, what do you think about this?