Monday, February 20, 2006

Province not paying for pricey cancer drug

Here's an interesting story of how procedure can get in the way of the treatment. It seems that an effective drug is not covered by Alberta's provincial coverage plan because it never got a NOC from Health Canada.

From the Edmonton Journal:
As Alberta prepares new legislation to become a leader in the war against cancer, some colon cancer patients are being forced to pick up big bills -- with tabs running as high as five figures -- for chemotherapy.

Alberta is one of three provinces that doesn't fund the drug oxaliplatin, considered an effective therapy for advanced colorectal cancer, because of a patent problem that never saw the drug go through a federal review process. ...more

Maybe it's just me, but can't they make exceptions for products that are approved Canadian drugs with documented therapeutic benefits? These exceptional items should be subject to some kind of appeal process.

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