Pangaea Express: Canada Drug Agency Creation

December 13, 2023

By Marla Weingarten

The federal government formally announced the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency (CDA), originally identified in the 2019 budget. “The CDA will be built from the existing Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and in partnership with provinces and territories (PTs).” In addition to the $34.2 federal funding for CADTH, $89.5 will be invested in the CDA to further CADTH’s work in HTA, post-market safety and effectiveness and to introduce new work streams, including:

  1. Improving the appropriate prescribing and use of medicines
  2. Increasing pan-Canadian data collection and expanding access to drug and treatment data (including RWE data)
  3. Reducing drug system duplication and lack of coordination

The CDA will “take on a greater role in the drug system”.

How the CDA will work towards these goals and what that may mean for the industry remains to be seen. Will expanding access to data, including RWE, include work to help operationalize CADTH’s RWE guidance document as identified in “next steps” announcement last May? The announcement made reference to the National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases but didn’t specify how the CDA may affect the implementation of the $1.5 billion.

For more information, please contact Suzanne Solman at or Marla Weingarten at