The process for Canadians to access new medicines is extremely complex and involves several different federal, provincial, and territorial agencies. It takes two years following approval (732 days) for Canadian patients to get access to a drug in the public plan, whereas those in the private plan get access to a drug in less than one year (226 days).
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Canadians relying on public insurance plans face significant delays accessing new medicines. This graph breaks down the sequential approval and listing process, and demonstrates how long it takes Canadians to access innovative medicines.
How Would a Single-Payer Publicly Funded National Pharmacare Program Affect the Quality of Access to Medicines for Canadian Patients?
Canada’s dual-payer pharmacare program works for most Canadians. But gaps need to be filled to ensure all Canadians have access to the medicines they need, regardless of income, age, sex or postal code.
Canada and other OECD20 countries launch a similar number of innovative medicines. However, our public plans reimburse 32 to 45 per cent less.
Time to Listing: Canada’s public plans cover fewer new medicines and take longer than most OECD countries to approve them
Public plans in Canada cover fewer medicines than in other OECD20 countries and take longer to be approved. For rare-disease medicines, this gap is even larger.
Time to Listing: Canada’s drug review and public reimbursement process is sequential and every step adds to the timeline
Wait times to reimburse life-saving medications are getting longer as the sequential process of reviews causes delays for patients.