Health Canada says the Canadian government remains committed to a national, universal pharmacare program including a rare disease strategy that will address high-cost drugs. 

The agency says approximately one in 12 Canadians has a rare disease. It adds that the price of drugs for rare diseases can range from $100,000 to more than $2-million annually, per patient.   

Canadians, especially patients with rare diseases and interested stakeholders are being asked to share their views on what a national strategy might look like. “This feedback will help inform the strategy and ensure it helps patients get better access to the effective drugs they need,” Health Canada writes in its statement announcing the public consultation period.  

The discussion paper, along with an online questionnaire and public townhall dates running between February 9 and March 23 are available online.  

Health Canada says the online consultations will close on March 26, 2021.  

“Canadians with rare medical conditions face many unique challenges and we’re committed to improving access to the medications they need,” says Canada’s minister of health, Patty Hajdu. “The views and feedback you share will be used to inform our development of a national strategy.”