Ontario plans to revamp the drug system. Health Minister George Smitherman said that he would invest $3.5-billion more to improve the drug program. He also said that he would introduce more changes that would make the drug system transparent and sustainable. They will also speed up the slow drug review process and ensure patients' voices are heard. The taxpayers have not received fair value for their dollar, there are a number of other weaknesses and problems throughout the entire drug system. He said that the main aim is to cut costs and increase the access to the medication patients need.
There will be no reduction to the benefits they are currently receiving. The initiative is mainly done as the government has come under repeated public fire for failing to pay for high-priced last-resort cancer drugs, such as Velcade or Eurbitux, and other expensive drugs that treat rare diseases such as Fabry's, an enzyme disorder. Even in the case of Herceptin the anti breast cancer drug the province has been much slower than other jurisdictions to cover the drugs. New Democrat health critic Shelley Martel also said that reforms will be introduced in which the patients would receive the drug therapy here in Ontario rather than traveling to US. The reforms will be balanced and are aimed at increasing patients' access to truly breakthrough drugs.