Sunday, April 13, 2008

New drug rules: life-saver or safety risk?

From the Globe and Mail:
The pharmaceutical industry, health experts and patient groups across Canada are strongly divided over whether the federal government's proposed new system for approving and monitoring drugs will result in harm or benefit to Canadians.

Under the proposed new "progressive licensing" system, Health Canada "will shift the focus from pre-market assessment to continuous assessment" of drugs, according to an article written by departmental officials and published last June in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The new system will "support timely access to drugs and provide a mechanism for the continuous monitoring and reassessment of a drug's safety" throughout its life cycle, states the article.

Some advocacy groups say the move is a much-needed development that will improve access to breakthrough, live-saving drugs or treatments for rare diseases. ...more

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