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What's the CADTH Symposium & why is it important?

On April 24th and 25th I was pleased to attend the 2017 CADTH Symposium in Ottawa. "Value in Health Care" was the conference aim, specifically how to define it, how to measure it and how to include it in our health system. But what is CADTH?  

CADTH, the Canadian Agency for Drugs & Technologies in Health, evaluates the evidence for new drugs, diagnostic tests, and medical devices becoming available in Canada. It provides recommendations to decision-makers on how to safely regulate these new technologies.  

Of particular importance to us, and to you, is how they evaluate new breast cancer treatments coming into Canada. They do this through a review panel called the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review, or pCODR. Not only do they review the clinical evidence of these new drugs but they also look at the patient perspectives. As a patient group, CBCN works to inform pCODR of the benefits and importance of new treatments for metastatic patients. Finally, they give recommendations to the provinces and territories (except Quebec) on funding and reimbursement.  

A running theme throughout this year's conference was the issue of affordability of new treatments and how they are evaluated by the public drug approval systems. This is an issue that CBCN has been very vocal about. An important piece of our work is to ensure that the patient perspective is at the forefront of informing the overall decision-making process.  

Overall we were very pleased to see this conversation being hosted by CADTH and we will continue to push for decision-makers and drug reviewers to consider the factors that are most important to patients when assessing the total value of a treatment.