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Therapeutics Initiative will have reduced role and budget: Falcon

The provincial government plans to take bids for part of the work the Therapeutics Initiative now does, but will continue funding the rest of the drug research group’s work, health minister Kevin Falcon said.

The TI at the University of British Columbia has been under threat since 2008, when the province's pharmaceutical task force advised removing its reviews from the government's drug approval process.

Responding to questions from NDP health critic Adrian Dix during debate of the health ministry budget, Falcon said the TI will continue providing education for health professionals and evaluating PharmaCare programs.

“The portion that was clinical evidence reviews for certain drug submissions is going out to [a Request For Proposals] in the summer, so that is not going to be exclusively in the domain of the TI, though they may bid on the opportunity to be involved in that RFP,” he said.

Falcon said the government will continue funding the TI at a level negotiated with UBC.

Dix has argued, as have leading drug researchers, that the TI’s involvement in the drug review process has saved both lives and money.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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