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Current Priorities

Asthma Canada has established advocacy priorities, and is working to raise the voice of the Canadian Asthma Community on key issues across the country.

Coalitions

Asthma Canada works with like-minded organizations through provincial, national and international coalitions to increase our reach and impact on issues affecting our community.

Past Accomplishments

Asthma Canada works to support advocacy and public policy change to help protect the health, safety and well-being of those with asthma and allergies. We advocate to federal, provincial and municipal governments on a range of health and environmental issues. 

Advocacy

At this time, asthma has no cure. To live symptom-free, people with asthma need access to proper diagnosis and treatment, and clean, unpolluted air to breathe. 

A key focus of our current advocacy initiatives centers on access to innovative medicines – by providing both input to the federal government and through patient evidence submissions. 

In 2020, Asthma Canada continues to advocate for the needs of the Canadian asthma community, calling for access to medications through a national pharmacare plan, while also working to protect patient access to innovative medicines in our country.

Asthma Canada provided input to the federal government around medication pricing and the importance of choice and innovative medicines for the asthma community.

We continue to provide the government with patient input on new asthma treatments though patient evidence submissions.

In addition, we also continued our partnership with the Ontario Public Health Association on the Make It Better Campaign, which centers on creating a unified approach to children’s health and climate change.

Asthma Canada will continue working to ensure that the voices of our community are heard on important issues that affect the health of Canadians with asthma and the air we breathe.

Overall, Asthma Canada is working tirelessly to ensure that all Canadian’s with asthma are able to access affordable and innovative medication for best possible health outcomes. With the support of our community, we will continue to raise the voice of asthma patients in 2021 and beyond.

Patient Evidence Submissions

At Asthma Canada, we feel it is imperative that Canadians living with asthma have access to multiple treatments to manage their disease, and also the ability to choose which medications work best for them. To improve drug access for all Canadians living with asthma, we routinely submit input from the asthma community to Health Canada’s drug review body, CADTH.

Asthma Canada helps Canadians living with asthma advocate for equitable and timely access to prescription medications. When a drug is up for review in Canada, the federal government allows patient organizations such as Asthma Canada to make submissions on behalf of a group of patients.

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) regularly conducts evaluations to understand the impact that diseases such as asthma and their treatments have on the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. Asthma Canada routinely submits accounts from the asthma community and our Asthma Canada Member Alliance to CADTH and other review processes. With input from our community, we are able to clearly articulate to CADTH that Canadians living with asthma need more treatment choices – as not everyone is able to find medication that works for them yet.

Our submissions bring the lived experiences of asthma to the forefront of the drug review process. We convey the reality of nearly 4 million Canadians living with asthma to CADTH: how living with asthma impacts day-to-day lives and whether current medications are working. Our goal is to help decision makers understand the weight of a chronic disease like asthma and the importance of improved access to prescription medications.

Asthma Canada does not endorse any specific medications and treatments through the filing of Patient Evidence Submissions. Asthma Canada participates in the patient input opportunities to ensure that the Canadian asthma community has equitable access to medications that have received Notice of Compliance from Health Canada. Asthma Canada believes that choice of treatment should be decided between patient and prescriber based on best health outcomes.

Some of our past Patient Evidence Submissions include:

Nucala

Xolair

Cinqair

*A number of our recent submissions are still under review, and are not included in this list.

Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) Submission

Access to medicines is a critical issue to our organization and to the Canadians we serve. Prescription drugs can manage conditions, cure disease(s), improve quality of life, shorten or prevent time spent in hospitals and reduce the demand for health care services, potentially leading to positive health outcomes and decreased costs to the healthcare system. An effective and sustainable drug approval process is key to providing timely access to medicines for all Canadians.

Read the Asthma Canada Submission on PMPRB Revised Regulations August 2020

Self Advocacy

Asthma is a chronic condition; it can be controlled but not cured. As you live with your asthma, you will need to learn about people and places to go to for help. Self-advocacy empowers you to get the support you need by:

  • Taking an active role in managing your asthma.
  • Asking the right questions to the right people, and making sure you understand the answers you are given before making decisions about your care.
  • Working with your healthcare professionals to help you set your goals, and then meet them.
  • Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a patient.
  • Telling your family, friends, boss, co-workers and others what they can do to help you manage your asthma.

Knowledge is power in self-advocacy. Understanding the words that your Healthcare Professionals use will help you become more comfortable asking questions. If you don’t understand something, ask. You should ask questions to make sure you understand exactly what choices you have as you manage your asthma.

You will find that the type of information you need will change over time. Start with understanding the big questions before you ask about the small details, but make sure that you keep asking for the information you feel is important. Some resources are listed below to help you get started.

Self Advocacy Resources

A handbook to help guide you through complex healthcare systems and learn about the people who can help you control your asthma.

Our patient-developed resource to empower all people living with asthma and allergies to understand their responsibility to properly manage their disease and lead a happy, healthy life.

Six guiding principles set out to define what people with Severe Asthma should expect for the management of their disease and what should constitute a basic standard of care, in line with the latest science and best practice understanding from existing Severe Asthma care services.

To help you and your family have informed conversations with your health care providers. Inside, you will find questions you may want to ask as you work together to make a plan for your care.

What to discuss with your family doctor or nurse practitioner to help you receive high-quality care.

Addresses the diagnosis and management of asthma in people under 16 years of age, with a focus on primary care and community-based settings.

What to discuss with your child’s family doctor or nurse practitioner to help them receive high-quality care.

The “How To” Health Guide was developed to assist patients, caregivers, friends and families in managing information about the Canadian health care system, which can often be challenging to navigate.

The Electronic Asthma Management System (eAMS) is a disease management and clinical decision support system aimed at improving health outcomes for patients with asthma. Increase the efficiency and productivity of your clinical appointment. Complete a simple asthma questionnaire on any device or computer prior to your appointment to save your healthcare provider time, freeing up more time to discuss what matters most to you. 

How To Health Guide

This is a guide to help you learn how to:
• Understand the health care system
• Find the information and services you need
• Review and evaluate the information you fi nd
• Talk with your doctor or health care provider
• Ask for a second opinion
• Manage your condition
• Pay for your medication
• Participate in a clinical trial
• Advocate and ask for the support you need