Last Updated : February 27, 2024
December 18, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada
Canadians should be able to appropriately access and afford the prescription drugs they need. However, many Canadians are left vulnerable due to high drug costs, inaccessible health data, and the lack of consistent standards for prescribing practices.
To better understand these challenges, the Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office (CDATO) consulted extensively with provinces, territories (PTs) and key stakeholders to identify core gaps in the pharmaceutical system.
Today, as the next step in improving the pharmaceutical system in Canada, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency (CDA). The CDA will provide the dedicated leadership and coordination needed to make Canada's drug system more sustainable and better prepared for the future, helping Canadians achieve better health outcomes.
The CDA will be built from the existing Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and in partnership with provinces and territories (PTs). The Government of Canada is investing $89.5 million over five years to establish the CDA, in addition to the existing federal funding of $34.2 million annually to support CADTH.
The CDA will incorporate and expand on CADTH's expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, including its strong leadership and technical proficiency. The CDA will build on CADTH's existing mandate and functions (health technology assessment, post-market safety and effectiveness) and expand them to include new work streams including:
The Government will work with CADTH and PTs to develop the CDA. Once the CDA is operational, it will take on a greater role in the drug system to ensure Canadians can have better health outcomes and access the medications they need now and into the future.
"There are too many barriers to accessing the prescription drugs Canadians need. At the same time, many Canadians are suffering from being overprescribed medicines that impact both their health and their wallet. The establishment of the Canadian Drug Agency is an important step in supporting the long-term sustainability of Canada's drug system, improving data quality, and ultimately helping Canadians improve their quality of life and overall health."
The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
"We have made significant progress towards building the CDA in the past two and a half years. I would like to thank those who have participated in the engagements to date for their thoughtful advice on the establishment of a CDA. We want to ensure the CDA reflects diverse insights and needs, including the perspectives of patients and people with lived experience."
Head, Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada