Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office

From: Health Canada

The Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office (CDATO) is responsible for developing options for a vision, mandate and plan to create a Canadian Drug Agency (CDA).

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About us

The CDATO’s mandate is to develop a vision, mandate and plan to establish a CDA that will improve pharmaceutical system coordination and support related work.

CDATO’s initial activities include:

The Government of Canada’s Budget 2019 provided $35 million over 4 years, starting in 2019, to establish the CDATO. The December 2021 mandate letter to the Minister of Health and Budget 2022 confirmed this commitment.

CDATO is being established to address the fact that prescription drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the developed world. Canada’s patchwork of drug coverage leaves many people in Canada facing significant barriers to getting the prescription drugs they need.

Budget 2019 also included initiatives to develop a national formulary and a national strategy for drugs for rare diseases.

Who we work with

The CDATO works with many key health system partners and experts to make sure the CDA reflects diverse insights and needs, including the perspectives of those with lived experiences. These include:

What we’ve learned

Since 2021, we have met with patient advocates, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, prescribers, academics and many others through over 300 meetings and roundtables.

We have received thoughtful advice from provinces, territories, partners and stakeholders on the potential scope and functions of a future CDA. We have heard about pharmaceutical system gaps including:

We will continue to collaborate with provinces, territories, partners and stakeholders as we develop the core functions for the CDA. We see opportunities for a CDA to have a significant impact.

Contact us

Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office
Strategic Policy Branch
Health Canada
Brooke Claxton Building
70 Colombine Driveway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

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