Canada's slow process to allow new cancer drugs in the country means patients wait almost twice as long as Americans for the green light on potentially life-saving medications, a new Fraser Institute report says.
"Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. Unfortunately, the review and approval process for new cancer-fighting medications is unnecessarily longer in Canada than other industrialized countries," senior fellow Dr. Nigel Rawson said in a statement Wednesday,
The think-tank's report compares the approval wait times for cancer drugs in Canada, the U.S. and Europe between 2003 and 2011. In that time, 30 drugs were given the go-ahead in the U.S., 26 in Europe, and 24 in Canada.
It adds that most of the drugs that are approved in Canada aren't covered under public drug plans.
The Fraser Institute wants Health Canada to better monitor drug approvals in other countries and recommends that if a drug isn't subsequently approved in Canada within a certain period, Health Canada should explain the delay to Parliament.
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