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Minister of Health announces Advisory Group and three-year consultation period for the National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases

Authored byAdam Lakusta

In March 2023, the Minister of Health announced the National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases, which has as its objective to increase access to, and affordability of, effective drugs for rare diseases to improve the health of patients across Canada. On October 30, 2023, the Minister of Health announced the creation of the Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) for drugs for rare diseases. The IAG’s mandate is to provide advice to Health Canada and healthcare providers on implementation of the National Strategy and to be a forum to exchange information and best practices on drugs for rare diseases. The IAG has 17 members including patients, caregivers, clinicians, private drug plans, and the pharmaceutical industry. The IAG will meet monthly, including with external participation as needed, and will host an open Town Hall twice annually to share progress.

The October announcement stated, the “Government of Canada remains committed to introducing a Pharmacare Bill, establishing a Canadian Drug Agency and working with willing [provinces and territories] and stakeholders to help Canadians have better access to the drugs they need, focusing on improvements related to accessibility, affordability and appropriate use of drugs.”

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