Process: submitting a new category for the national formulary

As per the interim review process, when a new product represents an entirely new group or class of products not currently available on the formulary, a review process is required which involves CADTH.


Review evidence

With approval from the provincial and territorial ministries of health a category review is conducted. CADTH assesses the effectiveness and the value of the product compared to other medications that are currently available for patient care through the formulary as well as other drug plans in Canada.

As part of their review, CADTH calls for stakeholder input on the proposed product. Stakeholders include medical experts and patient groups representing those who may use the product, should it be approved.

Following their review and consultations, CADTH submits a recommendation to Canadian Blood Services on if and how the product should be listed on our formulary.


Assess Impact

After receiving a recommendation from CADTH, we review their findings and look at what the impact would be on Canadian health systems. Generally, a recommendation from CADTH advises us to do one of three things:

  • Yes, list this product on our formulary.
  • No, do not list this product.
  • Yes, list this product with criteria for when and how to use it when caring for patients.

As part of our review, we also consult with key stakeholder groups — namely patients, health-care providers and health ministries — who could be affected by the decision and the potential guidelines or criteria for use.


Make decision

The recommendation from CADTH and our assessment are proposed to provincial and territorial health ministries to decide on if and how the product will be listed on the national formulary. 



Once a decision is made, we implement it. If we are approved to carry the product, we work with the vendor, hospital customers and within our team to secure regular inventories of the product and to ensure clinicians, hospital blood banks and clinics know when and how they can access the product for their patients, as well as support them through the change.