ORA & MOHLTC Partnership

The ORA has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the MOHLTC that is beneficial to everyone in the arthritis community. Recently David Schachow, Director, Drug Programs Delivery wrote a letter to the ORA to express his appreciation for this partnership. We are pleased to share it with you here:

February 14, 2020

I hope that you are familiar with the Ministry of Health’s Exceptional Access Program (EAP) for drugs that are not listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Formulary. Almost 10% of all the requests sent to the EAP for approval are for biologics drugs for conditions that you treat, including RA, pJIA, etc.

With rheumatologists comprising such a significant client base for the EAP, patients benefit when the ORA and the ministry work together.

Fortunately, both organizations recognize this and have made cooperation a common goal. In matters large and small – from the transition of children and youth to ODB through OHIP+ in 2018 and the ongoing development of SADIE, the EAP request Web portal, to forms for individual drugs – ORA and EAP leadership have demonstrated the value of meaningful and honest discussions. We do not absolutely agree on everything, but at minimum we understand and respect each other’s positions.

Typically, the result of ORA and EAP working together is something better than we started with. In addition to regular quarterly meetings between us, ORA has also been actively and vocally represented on the Clinician Advisory Panel for the SADIE project. When it came time to test a prototype of SADIE, the project team turned immediately to the ORA for a volunteer.

The time lapse between the e-mail from me to the ORA, and the response back from Dr. Jane Purvis, could be counted in seconds. On behalf of the ORA, Dr. Purvis was fully on board.

Dr. Purvis spent many hours testing SADIE for us –first a prototype then the initial launch – providing live feedback and thoughtful suggestions about how to improve SADIE. We have implemented many of them already, and others remain on our list of future improvements.

The support of the ORA – Dr. Purvis and many others – has been critical to creating a portal that will continue to grow and improve. The relationship between the ORA and EAP leadership has been deliberately cultivated to best serve our common patients.

Healthcare practices and Ontario’s public drug system will continue to change. Together, our partnership will adapt and adopt the changes that will best serve our patients in common.

David Schachow

Director, Drug Program Delivery