The head of the University of British Columbia's faculty of medicine says it's "good news" that the B.C. Liberal government has restored funding for the Therapeutics Initiative.
Managed by faculty members, the project provides evidence-based information about prescription drugs with no money from the pharmaceutical industry. The province had suspended its contract with the Therapeutics Initiative in September 2012, making the project's future uncertain.
According to the government, the reinstated contract is worth $550,000 a year and compensates UBC for providing health education and carrying out PharmaCare evaluations.
“It means stronger patient protection through evidence-based evaluations of new drugs,” Gavin Stuart, dean of the faculty of medicine, said in a UBC news release. “It is critical for our researchers to have access to health care data.”
The B.C. Ministry of Health announced the restored funding in its own news release touting its efforts to strengthen data privacy and security. Government investigations in 2012 had found three cases involving the improper disclosure of personal information by ministry employees.
According to the ministry, the Therapeutics Initiative will also receive up to $150,000 to conduct drug evaluations for the ministry.
Canadian Doctors for Medicare had collected 1,470 signatures on their online petition calling on the B.C. government to reinstate funding for the Therapeutics Initiative, which was founded in 1994.