The drugs listed as benefits in the New Brunswick Drug Plans Formulary are determined through an evidenced-based review process. The drug review process involves the following steps:
New Brunswick Drug Plans Drug Review Process
- Health Canada Approval
Before a manufacturer can sell a drug in Canada, they must receive Health Canada approval. Health Canada assesses the drug’s safety, efficacy (usually compared to taking no drug at all) and quality of the manufacturing process used to make the drug. When a drug has met all the regulatory requirements, Health Canada issues a Notice of Compliance (NOC) and/or a Drug Identification Number (DIN).
Information on the Health Canada drug review process is available here.
- Common Drug Review
To have their drugs covered by the federal, provincial and territorial public drug plans, manufacturers must send a submission to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH).
- The Common Drug Review (CDR) reviews new drugs, new combination products, drugs with new indications and therapeutic reviews. The CDR process involves a review of how well the drug works when compared to similar drugs that are used to treat the same condition, and whether the drug provides value for money. The Canadian Drug Expert Committee evaluates the clinical evidence and cost-effectiveness and provides a recommendation to the federal, provincial and territorial public drug plans on whether a drug should be listed as a benefit. Information on the CDR submission requirements and procedures is available here.
- The pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) reviews cancer drugs. The pCODR Expert Review Committee (pERC) evaluates the clinical evidence and cost-effectiveness and provides a listing recommendation to public drug plans on whether a drug should be listed as a benefit. Information on the pCODR submission requirements and procedures is available here.
- pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA)
Price negotiations are conducted through the pCPA to achieve greater value for publicly funded drug plans. All brand name drugs reviewed through the Common Drug Review (CDR) and pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) are considered for negotiation.
Information on pCPA is available here.
- Formulary Listing Decisions
Each jurisdiction makes their final formulary listing decisions based on the expert advisory committee’s recommendation and other factors such as drug plan mandates, jurisdictional priorities, budget impact and resources. Drug formulary listing decisions for the NB Drug Plans are announced in a Bulletin which is posted on the Department of Health’s webpage.