Listening for Prescriptions: A national consultation on pharmaceutical policy issues

Authors: 
Steven G. Morgan, Colleen M. Cunningham
Research Summary: 

Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study was to identify priority pharmaceutical policy issues in Canada and to translate them into research priorities.

Research Approach/Method
Our priority-setting process involved key informant interviews, stakeholder surveys and a deliberative workshop.

Key Overarching Message
Targeted research and knowledge translation activities can help address key policy issues and, importantly, challenges of policy coordination in Canada and thereby reduce inequity and inefficiency in policy approaches and outcomes.

Key Findings
We found consensus on overarching policy goals: to provide all Canadians with equitable and sustainable access to necessary medicines. We also found widespread frustration that many key pharmaceutical policy issues in Canada - including improving prescription drug financing and pricing - have been persistent challenges owing to a lack of policy coordination. The coverage of extraordinarily costly medicines for serious conditions was identified as a rapidly emerging policy issue.