CADTH Announces Aligned Drug Reimbursement Review Process

Today CADTH has taken a significant step forward in making its Pharmaceutical Reviews program more cohesive, transparent, and responsive by establishing a harmonized review process for any drug product that is submitted to CADTH for assessment.

Where there were previously unique procedures and policies for CADTH’s three review pathways — the Common Drug Review, pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review, and Interim Plasma Protein Product Review — there is now one procedure that incorporates the best practices from each program.

The launch of the Procedures for CADTH Drug Reimbursement Reviews follows an extensive internal review, discussions with internal and external stakeholders, and a six-week public consultation period where CADTH received and considered input from 80 organizations or individuals representing funders, drug manufacturers, patient groups, clinician groups, consultants, and others.

“Canadians should benefit from an approach to drug reviews that is efficient, transparent, consistent, and equitable,” said Brent Fraser, Vice-President of Pharmaceutical Reviews. “By introducing these changes, we have strengthened our process in a manner that increases stakeholder involvement and allows CADTH to better support the jurisdictions that implement our reimbursement recommendations.”

Some highlights of the new aligned process include the opportunity for drug manufacturers to comment on scientific reports before expert committee meetings and the opportunity for patient groups and clinician groups to comment on all draft recommendations. Further, Requests for Reconsideration will now be stratified into three categories to introduce additional flexibility before a reimbursement recommendation is finalized.

Please consult the Pharmaceutical Review Update — Issue 17 for more details on CADTH’s Drug Reimbursement Review Procedures. The procedures will be effective for all applications targeting the April 2021 expert committee meetings.

About CADTH Drug Reimbursement Reviews

Once Health Canada has approved a drug for use in Canada, the country’s public drug plans and cancer agencies must decide if the drug will be eligible for public reimbursement. CADTH plays an important role in their decision-making processes.

Through our review process, CADTH conducts thorough and objective evaluations of the clinical, economic, patient, and clinician evidence on drugs, and uses these evaluations to provide reimbursement recommendations and advice to federal, provincial, and territorial public drug plans and provincial cancer agencies (with the exception of Quebec).


CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit agency funded by Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments (except Quebec) to provide credible, impartial advice and evidence-based information about the effectiveness of drugs and other health technologies to Canadian health care decision-makers.