Tomorrow Can’t Wait: The Value of Breakthrough Cancer Treatments for Canadians

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Tomorrow Can’t Wait: The Value of Breakthrough Cancer Treatments for Canadians

Health
Pages:16 pages27 min read

Author: Chad Leaver, Isabella Moroz, Kiefer Van Mulligen

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This briefing looks at potential life years and economic value gained from breakthrough cancer therapies. Gaps in patients’ access to these treatments means lost economic value and shorter lives.

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This briefing looks at potential life years and economic value gained from breakthrough cancer therapies. Gaps in patients’ access to these treatments means lost economic value and shorter lives.

Document Highlights

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Canada, but advancements have led to a greater understanding of the disease and to new breakthrough treatments targeting cancer at the cellular or genetic level.

This briefing looks at potential cumulative benefits (life years and economic value) of breakthrough cancer treatments across five tumour types over the last decade, but there is a gap in patients’ access to these treatments

Canada does not have comprehensive data on how many people have accessed, are accessing, or cannot access breakthrough cancer treatments so one cannot estimate with precision the number of patients in each of these categories.

Canada can, however, accelerate and provide equitable access to breakthrough cancer treatments. Four system-level reforms to improve access are listed.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has strained Canada’s capacity to support and integrate new value-based models of cancer care and governance. Nevertheless, the need to evolve cancer care systems as well as existing HTA and price negotiation pathways for rapid uptake of breakthrough therapies is critical. Doing so can ensure the volume of eligible patients waiting for these life-extending therapies can receive them and experience more tomorrows.

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