National Pharmaceutical Taskforce progress report: Short on policy options
Three months after completion, the National Pharmaceutical Taskforce released its progress report to Canadians. (Report) We are still impatiently waiting for the implementation of a National Pharmaceutical Strategy that will ensure that no Canadian suffers hardship in accessing needed medications.
There is some gratification in the progress report in that the Taskforce has committed to working with patients on NPS. We look forward to providing our expertise and guidance in the future discussions. Patients were able to provide input into one priority in 2005, Strengthening Real World Drug Safety and Effectiveness. It appears that they did, indeed listen to us.
We are concerned about the mention of expanding the Common Drug Review (CDR). No one can argue with the idea of a common national formulary, however CDR as it stands now is flawed. It has created another level of bureaucracy, resulting in further delays for patients in accessing new treatments. Government must fix the Common drug review. We know now that the members of the taskforce are the Health Ministers from each province. Why this information was kept a secret for so long escapes me.