A group of more than 30 Canadian patient groups, physicians and healthcare charities are working together to ensure all Canadian cancer patients have certainty that if cancer strikes them or a loved one they will have fair and equal access to the treatment they need.

Thee group, led by Kidney Cancer Canada, is called the CanCertainty Coalition.

Currently, when a cancer patient needs a provincially approved oral therapy, the patient’s age, private insurance status, income or where he or she lives can result in significant costs and delays in treatment. In contrast, the same patient would access an IV treatment at no cost and no wait-time regardless of income or insurance coverage.

“As a society, we don’t tolerate discrimination, so why should we tolerate discrimination among cancer patients? Yet there are countless patients in Ontario and Atlantic Canada who face discrimination in funding simply because they are prescribed an oral versus an intravenous therapy,” says Deb Maskens, kidney cancer patient and co-founder of Kidney Cancer Canada. “Why should it matter whether the cancer drug is an IV or a pill?”

A perfect example is how this affects kidney cancer patients where the most effective treatments to control the cancer are oral therapies that can be taken at home, she explains. With 60% of all new cancer treatments being developed as oral medications, Maskens says it’s time that all cancer treatments are on an equal footing.

A new report from the Cameron Institute demonstrates an investment of roughly 1% of Ontario’s 2012 drug budget will ensure all patients in the province have timely access to the safe and effective oral cancer treatments they need. The same holds true proportionally for Atlantic provinces.

The lack of fair and complete public funding for cancer treatments taken orally in Ontario and Atlantic Canada is creating significant financial hardship for more than 10,000 people each year. Even with private insurance, 75% of plans have a 20% co-pay on the cost of treatment, which can be tens of thousands of dollars. Other plans have an annual or lifetime cap that is all too quickly reached with the cost of cancer medications.

For more information about CanCertainty, visit the organization’s website.

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Robert in Vancouver:

It is an outrage that cancer treatment for Canadians is rationed based on who “deserves” to be treated.

Of course there is a reason – Governments don’t have enough money left after paying government workers such high wages, benefits, and pensions (much higher than equal workers in the private sector get).

So why do people keep supporting politicians who pander to government unions?

Monday, March 10 at 9:38 pm | Reply

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