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Canada And Paclitaxel


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Not sure if this is good news or not? Any input would be appreciated Thanks

Canada's only cancer drug manufacturer is Biolyse Pharma in St. Catharines. Biolyse produces Paclitaxel, one of the most powerful, but gentle treatments for cancer. It is administered in cancer centres and hospitals throughout Canada and the world and is used primarily to treat breast, lung and ovarian cancers.

At present in Canada, outside of Ontario, Biolyse Paclitaxel is the most prescribed chemotherapy drug. Biolyse is the world's oldest producer of Paclitaxel and has been producing this medicine exclusively since 1988.

Ninety per cent of the Paclitaxel produced worldwide is a result of Biolyse's discovery of a plentiful alternative source for this very rare medicine.

Consciously we did not patent this innovation, leaving it in the public domain for other pharmaceutical companies to produce for global cancer care.

Our company is working on various new molecular entities for cancer therapy and is one of only a handful of pharmaceutical companies in the history of Canada to develop a drug and bring it to market.

In 2001, after over 10 years of pre-clinical and clinical work and the investment of millions of dollars in research and development, we were approved for sale for all Canada by Health Canada.

Our clinical trials were done at the London Regional Cancer Centre, Montreal Jewish Hospital, Montreal Hotel Dieu Hospital and other Canadian centres. We are also licensed to sell Paclitaxel by the regulatory bodies of Israel, South Africa, the European Union and various world regions.

Ontario is the only province in Canada that will not allow patients access to Biolyse's cost-effective anti-cancer medicine.

We were approved by the federal authorities for sale in this province in 2001 and have been continually refused entry onto the Ontario formulary for reasons that have no scientific basis.

The formulary was created to guarantee cost-effective access to medicine for all Ontarians, not to create barriers or monopolies.

We estimate that every year, since 2001, several thousand Ontario cancer patients' lives have been negatively impacted by the inefficiency of this provincial drug program.

Biolyse has been anxiously awaiting Health Minister George Smitherman's new drug legislation, which will hopefully provide greater access and transparency to this system.

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