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Cancer Therapy Committee Act

BILL NO. 222

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
57 Elizabeth II, 2008



Private Member's Bill



Cancer Therapy Committee Act



H. David Wilson
Glace Bay



First Reading: November 14, 2008

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act to Provide for Transparency
in Drug Therapy Approvals

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Cancer Therapy Committee Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "Chair" means the Chair of the Committee;

(b) "change" includes additions and deletions;

(c) "Committee" means the Cancer Therapy Committee;

(d) "Formulary" means the Formulary that sets out the drugs and supplies that are benefits under the Nova Scotia Seniors Pharmacare Program, the Department of Community Services Pharmacare Benefits Program, the Diabetes Assistance Program, the Family Pharmacare Program and the Drug Assistance for Cancer Patients Program;

(e) "member" means a member of the Committee;

(f) "Minister" means the Minister of Health.

3 There is hereby established a committee to be known as the Cancer Therapy Committee.

4 The Committee consists of the Chair, five non-voting members and seventeen voting members.

5 (1) The Chair shall be appointed by the Governor in Council for a term of two years and may be re-appointed.

(2) The Chair is a non-voting member of the Committee except in the event of a tie amongst the voting members present, in which case the Chair has one vote.

6 (1) Non-voting members shall be appointed by the Minister and consist of

(a) one representative of the Department of Health;

(b) one representative of the District Health Authorities; and

(c) one representative of Cancer Care Nova Scotia.

(2) Voting members shall be appointed by the Governor in Council and consist of

(a) three oncologists specializing in the treatment of adults;

(b) one hematologist specializing in the treatment of adults;

(c) one pediatric hematology oncologist;

(d) one administrative pharmacist;

(e) one clinical pharmacist;

(f) one health economist;

(g) one medical ethicist;

(h) one member of the public;

(i) three cancer survivors;

(j) one social worker;

(k) one front-line oncology nurse;

(l) one patient navigator; and

(m) the Chief Public Health Officer of the Province or his or her designate.

(3) Members are appointed for a term of two years and may be re-appointed.

7 (1) Unless there are extenuating circumstances approved in writing by the Chair, a member who is absent for more than two consecutive meetings of the Committee shall be removed from the Committee by the Committee.

(2) Where a member has been removed under subsection (1),

(a) the Committee shall notify, in writing, the Minister and the member; and

(b) the Governor in Council shall appoint a new member to the Committee.

8 The Committee shall meet a minimum of five times in a year.

9 (1) A quorum of the Committee consists of a majority of the voting and non-voting members.

(2) A decision of the Committee may only be made by seventy per cent of the voting members.

10 The Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Department of Health shall act as the secretariat to the Committee and shall provide secretarial support to the Committee for purpose of the record keeping of the Committee.

11 The Committee shall, in accordance with the regulations, develop an evidence-based decision-making framework to be used to evaluate cancer therapies and make recommendations to the Minister regarding changes to the Formulary.

12 The Committee may make any recommendations to the Minister respecting changes to the Formulary that it determines are necessary or appropriate.

13 The Committee may make recommendations to the Minister respecting

(a) the budget of the Department of Health and the District Health Authorities in relation to the delivery of cancer care; and

(b) the implications to the workload in the delivery of cancer therapy that need to be addressed through the annual business planning process of the Province.

14 The Committee shall direct evaluation of oral and home-based cancer therapies to the appropriate committee of the Department of Health.

15 In carrying out its duties under this Act, the Committee may consult with stakeholders, including patient advocates, health and medical experts and drug manufacturers.

16 (1) A recommendation of the Committee must be made in writing to the Minister within seven days of the date of making the recommendation.

(2) The Minister shall respond to a recommendation of the Committee within fourteen days of the date of making the recommendation.

(3) Recommendations of the Committee and the Minister's response to the recommendation must be communicated in writing to the district health authorities within twenty-one days of the date of the Committee making the recommendation.

17 The Minister shall issue public notice of the recommendation and the Minister's response to the recommendation within thirty days of the date of the committee making the recommendation and shall make this information available to the public.

18 Subject to the Civil Service Disclosure of Wrongdoing Regulations, members shall keep the proceedings of the Committee confidential.

19 Subject to Section 22, members shall be paid such reasonable travel and meal expenses as the Governor in Council deems fit.

20 Members of the Committee shall declare any actual or potential conflicts of interest in accordance with the regulations.

21 (1) The Minister may make regulations

(a) prescribing the criteria for an evidence-based decision-making framework to be used to evaluate cancer therapies and make recommendations to the Minister regarding changes to the Formulary;

(b) respecting conflict of interest guidelines for members;

(c) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(d) the Minister considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) The exercise by the Minister of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

22 The moneys required for the administration of this Act must be paid out of moneys appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.

23 The Schedule to Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1993, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as enacted by Chapter 11 of the Acts of 1999 (Second Session), is amended by adding "Cancer Therapy Committee" immediately after "Board of Examiners in Psychology" under the heading "Health".

24 Clause 2(g) of Chapter 70 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Civil Service Act, is amended by adding "and includes members of the Cancer Therapy Committee for purposes of the Civil Service Disclosure of Wrongdoing Regulations" immediately after "Service" in the last line.

25 This Act comes into force ninety days after Royal Assent.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2008 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created November 14, 2008. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.