Introduction to drug and medical device highlights 2017

Welcome to our 2017 Highlights Report about the new and innovative drugs and medical devices approved for sale in Canada.

Health Canada is here to help you maintain and improve your health. New drugs and medical devices can mean new treatment and diagnostic options for patients and advances in health care available to you. Our job is to evaluate and monitor drugs and medical devices to ensure that they are safe, effective, and of high quality.

It can take years, sometimes decades, to bring new drugs and medical devices from the lab to you. Part of our job is to ensure that the benefits of the products you have access to outweigh the risks in taking them. We have a role in approving clinical trials, providing scientific advice throughout the development process, and evaluating drugs and medical devices for approval for sale in Canada.

We also continue to monitor drugs and medical devices after they have been approved for sale in Canada, to watch for emerging safety problems. We take action when we determine there is a potential risk to your health and safety. We inform health professionals and the public about new risks, or other important information to assist with the safe use of a drug or medical device.

2017 was an important year for us. We carried out many initiatives this year aimed at improving the timely access to drugs and medical devices that meet health care system needs. This report highlights these initiatives and provides information on the new drugs and new medical devices with novel technology we have approved this year.

We could not do our work without your voice - the voice of the patient - along with the input and feedback we receive from all of our partners and stakeholders. We hope this report communicates the work we do in approving and monitoring new and innovative drugs and medical devices. While the number of products we approve is important, what is critical is that these drugs and medical devices contribute to the overall quality of health care for Canadians.

Pierre Sabourin
Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Canada

Kendal Weber
Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Canada

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