Clinical trials: the cornerstone of innovative treatments

As a critical step towards bringing new medicines and vaccines safely to market, clinical trials provide Canadians with access to new, potentially life-saving medications and therapies. These trials have been proven to increase the speed at which Canadian healthcare professionals and hospitals adopt healthcare innovations.

The pharmaceutical industry’s investments in clinical trials not only help to discover new innovative treatments for patients, they also help to reduce the cost of healthcare in Canada. A study completed by The Institute for Health Economics (IHE) in Alberta – and published in the journal of PharmacoEconomics –  demonstrates that industry-sponsored clinical trials completed in Canada in 2016 offset $2.1 billion in costs to the Canadian healthcare system. The study examined 394 pharmaceutical clinical trials that were completed in more than 2,000 facilities across the country with more than 20,000 Canadian patients.

When a pharmaceutical company sponsors a clinical trial, it covers the cost of the drug, as well as fees for ethics reviews, management costs such as start-up costs for labs and pharmacies, and patient care costs such as screening, procedures, treatments of adverse events and imaging procedures.

Canadian patients deserve the opportunity and hope that comes with innovative treatments being made available to them through clinical trials. Collaboration and coordination of all Canadian stakeholders is imperative to make this happen.

Competitiveness in quality, timeliness, and costs comes into play when global companies decide in which country to undertake trials. As a country with world class infrastructure that produces high quality data, a commitment to high ethical standards and presence of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, Canada has a distinct advantage when it comes to clinical trials.

Innovative Medicines Canada is a Sponsor of Research Canada’s Your Candidates, Your Health 2019 Federal Election Campaign. To learn more, visit