Cancer drugs are expensive and rarely affordable for individuals affected with this illness. In many countries, governments pay for selected cancer drugs in order to ease the financial burden on patients and their families. Government budgets, however, are also limited, and not all cancer drugs can be funded.
How does a government decide which cancer drugs to include on its reimbursement list (formulary)? In many countries, this decision is made upon the advice of expert committees and/or independent(non-majoritarian) agencies. For example, in Canada, the pan Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) offers formulary advice to Provincial governments. In the United Kingdom, such advice is provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The Australian counterpart is called the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Our research to date focused on two review bodies, the Canadian pCORD, and the Polish AOTMiT (Agencja Oceny Technologii Medycznych i Tarificacji, Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariffs). We work with these bodies to compare their processes, identify challenges and recommend improvements. We are in the process of engaging other agencies to support our research program.
Funding sources for our work include:
The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Partnerships for Health Systems Improvement (PHSI) grant number PHE 129912. (2013-2016 on extension)
The European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 665778. (2017-2018)
The Dalhousie University Vice-President Research and Innovation International Seed Grant (2019-2020)
The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (since April 1, 2019 called Research Nova Scotia) Team Development Grant. (2016-2018)