Cancer medication approval process longer in Canada,thus becomes life threatening

Cancer medication approval process longer in Canada,thus becomes life threatening

At least 5000 patients could have lived longer if the Canadian and Provincial governments were quicker to approve cancer medicines as per a study released by the Fraser Institute Thursday.

It looked at five new oncology medications (Avastin, Halaven, Jevtana, Tarceva & Torisel) and found that if patients had access to them 1696 patient – years could have been added to their lives, the value in dollars is estimated between $339.2 and $ 559.6 million.

“Why they take such a long time to approve?  They’re cautious, they’re obviously concerned about their drug budget and they don’t have enough people to review, but there are a lot of patients out there desperately waiting for these medications,” Nigel Rawson, the study’s author and a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, told CJAD.

Rawson added that the major delays were mainly at the provincial level but that Health Canada did not reach their performance standard for all of the medication studied. A study completed by the Fraser Institute last year found that the approval process in Canada is almost twice as long as the one in the US.

Rawson says it would be a lot faster, if once one province approved a medication the others automatically followed suit.

The Article:  National News: The Fraser Institute: Government Delays in Approving New Cancer Medicines Left 5,000 Canadian Patients Waiting http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=25237#.Un0F-lyEi00

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