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New drugs are taking too long to reach patients in Canada, report claims

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 25 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3440
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. 1Quebec

    Patients in Canada are being denied swift access to new drugs, because the regulatory process is too slow, says a report from the Canadian think tank the Fraser Institute.

    “It takes more than 14 months, on average, for Health Canada [the federal regulatory agency] to approve new medicines as safe and effective,” claims Brett Skinner, the institute’s director of health policy and author of the report.

    “And while private insurers will immediately cover those medicines, the provinces can take up to another year to decide if they will pay for the same drugs,” he said. …

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