Federal Government Commits to National Strategy to Improve Access to Rare Disease Drugs

Toronto, Ontario – Muscular Dystrophy Canada commends the Government of Canada for committing $35 million, in its 2019 budget, to develop a Canadian Drug Agency to oversee the development of a new national formulary of prescribed drugs and a strategy to provide support for Canadians with rare diseases.

A national strategy to alleviate the high-cost of drugs for rare diseases will ensure more Canadians are able to access effective, life-changing treatments.

“This is an important first-step towards ensuring individuals diagnosed with a rare disease, such as a neuromuscular disorder, are able to access treatment without cost as a barrier,” said Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Canada. “We call on all Federal parties to focus on this very real issue facing Canadians.”

According to the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC), recent studies show that while a majority of Canadians have access to prescription medicines under the current mix of private and public insurance, approximately 22% of prescription drug costs are still paid for out of pocket by patients. Stead-Coyle added:
“MDC has always been committed to ensuring patients can access treatments at an affordable price, and we will continue to advocate on behalf of patients until that’s a reality.”
Muscular Dystrophy Canada, along with its partners in HCCC, looks forward to integrating the perspectives of patients and the health charity sector as we work with the Federal Government to develop and implement these important initiatives.



Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those impacted with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please visit muscle.ca or call our toll-free number at 1-800-567-2873.


Heather Rice
Muscular Dystrophy Canada

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