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When Decision Meets Precision: Evolving Health Technology Assessments for the Evaluation of Precision Oncology Therapeutics

Longwoods Publication: “Fostering Clinical Research in the Community Hospital: Opportunities and Best Practices”

How ready is Canada for personalized healthcare?

June 2, 2023

SIGNIFICANCE: A rigorous decision-making process, overseen by Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees (P&TC), governs the addition of new products to hospital formularies in Canada. This process helps to optimizes the use of finite funds to provide quality patient care. Recognizing the variability in P&TC operations and influence across the country, pharmaceutical companies require an understanding of this process—its players, positioning, and priorities—to achieve their market access objectives and ensure widespread adoption of their products in Canada.

In this article, we share key insights for pharmaceutical companies bringing new products to the Canadian market, highlighting considerations for the current and future hospital formulary decision-making landscape.


  • Clinical data is central to P&TC decision-making. Pharmaceutical companies should continue to prioritize the generation of compelling clinical data, ideally comparing their product against the standard of care and publishing these results in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals. Further, these trials should aim to strengthen the product’s value proposition by demonstrating improved patient outcomes and more efficient use of resources, such as clinician time.
  • P&TC decision-making must remain impartial and independent. Pharmaceutical companies are expected to understand and respect the independence of P&TC members who are expected to be impartial when making decisions to approve and implement products for clinical practice. Pharmaceutical sponsors should be prepared to respond to opportunities, when provided, to maximize their product’s potential for success by being responsive to information requests and supportive in product implementation.

FUTURE OUTLOOK: As health systems evolve to be more sustainable and integrated with provincial or federal level healthcare entities, there is potential for both additional types of evidence (e.g. pharmacoeconomic, real-world evidence and social impact data) and additional stakeholder perspectives (e.g. patient representatives) to become increasingly influential in P&TC decision-making.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Pharmaceutical companies can benefit from a detailed understanding of the complex landscape of hospital formulary management and decision-making to fully capitalize on the market potential of their products within the Canadian healthcare system.

For more detailed insights, download the PDF.