E-drug: Building capacity in Pharmaco-Economics
Canada currently has three different sets of guidelines that while similar
are not completely congruent. At the federal level, the guidelines are
just that, guidelines that can be used by anyone wanting to do a
pharmacoeconomic evaluation. These guidelines were drawn up by a federally
funded agency, the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology
Assessment, but did not have any direct input from government. Since the
federal government is not involved in the payment for pharmaceuticals,
except to native Canadians, prisoners in federal jails and the military
forces, these guidelines are not used to determine reimbursement. Two
provinces, Ontario and British Columbia, also have guidelines. In both of
these cases the guidelines were drawn up by provincially funded groups but
again without any direct government involvement. These provinces require
pharmacoeconomic studies to accompany any submissions by companies to get
their drugs listed on the provincial formularies. Companies are expected
to follow the guidelines in doing their pharmacoeconomic studies. If the
guidelines are not followed then the companies have to justify any
Joel Lexchin MD
121 Walmer Rd.
CANADA M5R 2X8
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