December 13, 2017

HealthPRO Participates in Health Canada Engagement Session on Improving Access to and Use of Necessary Therapeutic Products




Earlier this fall, Christine Donaldson, HealthPRO’s Vice President, Pharmacy Services was invited to participate in a stakeholder engagement session hosted by Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB).  This year’s annual event included an important session on Health Canada’s initiative to improve access to and use of necessary therapeutic products, which responds to the Minister of Health’s mandate[i] to improve access to necessary prescription medications.

“Having been a hospital Director for more than two decades, and now leading pharmaceutical procurement for more than 800 hospitals across the country, there is definitely a need for regulatory framework that supports improved access to therapeutic products and this session offered a valuable opportunity to contribute to that discussion,” notes Christine Donaldson, Vice President, Pharmacy Services, HealthPRO. “It’s all about finding ways to bring safe, effective products to patients, faster.”

Therapeutic products, such as pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins, vaccines and medical devices, can be sold in Canada once they have successfully passed a review process to assess their safety, efficacy and quality. Responsibility for this review process rests with Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) and can take a year[ii] to complete.

Though still in the planning stage, the 2017 federal health budget outlined $140.3M over five years and $18.2M[iii] per year ongoing to support these objectives as they relate to prescription medications.  A dedicated team within the Health Products and Food Branch has already begun planning for implementation.

In all, nearly 80 stakeholders attended the HPFB event, representing a broad and diverse range of associations who currently have relationships with HPFB, including healthcare and nutrition professionals, health product manufacturers, consumer advocacy groups and patient group representatives.