Credits: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON
"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.
The Federal Drug Administration in the U.S. had an average review time of 182 days, compared to nearly a year north of the border, the report says.
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.