Issue: Equal Access to Care

Equal access to drugs that treat both a brain tumour and associated conditions, as well as the related financial burden, is an important issue for brain tumour patients and their families across Canada. Where a patient lives should never determine the treatment for a brain tumour.

The diagnosis of a brain tumour can be overwhelming and confusion about access to drugs is an unnecessary burden. Quite simply, it is confusing for patients and families to see provincial health care plans making different decisions based on the same evidence. We adovcate for better access to all brain tumour drugs and increased transparency and collaboration among all stakeholders with the aim to help every Canadian affected by a brain tumour.

And so, any time there is an opportunity for patients to have their voices heard about access to medication is important and Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada supports patient advocacy on this issue.

CanCertainty for all Canadians'CanCertainty is needed for all Canadians'.  Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has joined with more than 20 other cancer groups to demand 'CanCertainty' for all cancer patients when it comes to their chemotherapy. 60 per cent of all new cancer treatments being developed are oral medications - including Temozolomide for brain tumours. And Temozolomide is the standard of care chemotherapy for brain tumour patients. Yet, in several provinces this, and many other provincially approved oral treatments for cancer patients are not covered.

The treatment of a brain tumour can vary widely depending on its type and location, the age of a patient and many other individual elements. But treatment should be defined by an individual's medical needs and should never be determined by cost or where a patient lives. Find out more about this issue at CanCertainty.ca and lend your voice to the call for fairness.

Ways We Are Addressing this Issue

Equal access to treatments and drugs and the associated financial burden is an important issue for brain tumour patients and their families in Canada. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is active on this complex issue in the following ways:

  • Working on equal access to Temozolomide (Temodal) for all patients in Canada. We are working with other cancer organizations about the disparity in coverage for oral chemotherapies through the CanCertainty campaign. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has taken part in meetings with government officials on this issue, ensuring that the voice and stories of brain tumour patients are being heard.
  • Monitoring the drug approval process and communicating next steps and opportunities for action to the brain tumour community. This includes watching for any new approval processes for drugs like Avastin and providing patient input when possible - through approval bodies like pCODR.
  • Working with the Canadian Cancer Action Network who advocate for the entire cancer community to by working with federal and provincial decision makers to ensure a pan-Canadian system evolves that optimizes care and treatment outcomes through all phases of the cancer continuum. In 2011, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada signed the organization's Statement of Principles titled, Sharing Responsibility for Cancer Drug Costs (opens a PDF).
  • Providing information for you to advocate for your best care, including gaining access to services and treatments

 

Watch this space for future opportunties to lend your voice to this important issue.

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