Government of Canada names head of the Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office 

News release

April 1, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada

Prescription drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the developed world. Canada’s patchwork of drug coverage leaves many Canadians facing significant barriers to getting the prescription drugs they need. To that end, the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to establish the foundational elements of national, universal pharmacare.

Today, the Government of Canada announced Susan Fitzpatrick as the head of the Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office. Ms. Fitzpatrick has extensive experience leading health care organizations in the Province of Ontario and she has guided significant organizational changes to improve the delivery of care.

The Transition Office will advance work on pharmacare-related initiatives and provide dedicated leadership and resources to support federal-provincial-territorial discussions. It will also engage provinces, territories and stakeholders in discussions on the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency.

The Transition Office will also work closely with partners to develop a national formulary—a comprehensive, evidence-based list of prescribed drugs that will support consistent patient access to treatments across the country.


“Susan has a thorough understanding of the delivery of health services in Canada and she has led significant changes in health organizations, which makes her the ideal candidate to address these complex issues. Having Susan as the head of the Transition Office will support the Government of Canada in accelerating work to implement national, universal pharmacare.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Fall Economic Statement 2020 outlined the concrete steps the government is taking toward the implementation of national, universal pharmacare.

  • Budget 2019 provided Health Canada with $35 million over four years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office to work with provinces, territories, and other partners to develop a vision and mandate for the Canadian Drug Agency.

  • To help Canadians with rare diseases access the drugs they need, Budget 2019 invested up to $1 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, with up to $500 million per year ongoing.

  • As announced on January 27, 2021, the Government of Canada is engaging provinces, territories, stakeholders, Indigenous partners, and the public on a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases to improve access to effective treatments.

Associated links


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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