Which medical products are most effective for managing chronic diseases?
Health Canada says its “care for Canadians” department is “well-positioned” to help Canadians manage chronic diseases and that its services can provide patients with the right answers.
Health Canada’s new guidance says it is a “strong indicator” of the health of a person’s health and that there are some specific factors to consider.
The government also says the guidelines are based on the results of its first-of-its-kind clinical trials.
The guidelines say there are two categories of medical products that can be used to manage chronic disease: “medically useful” products that are useful to the person who uses them, and “non-medically usable” products.
“It’s important to remember that these guidelines are not the final word on how health care providers can provide the best care,” says Julie Nesbitt, Health Canada senior manager for the health care sector.
“We do not suggest any product is right for everyone.
However, we think these guidelines provide a strong indicator of the type of care we’re doing to our Canadians.”
For example, Nesbaitt says a product might be helpful for people with chronic health conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.
“A product might not be as effective for a person who’s been diagnosed with asthma or COPD, but they might be a good choice for people who are having trouble breathing,” she says.
“If you have asthma, for example, it’s important for your healthcare provider to look at the effectiveness of products like inhalers and nasal sprays to help you breathe more easily.
These are products that we’re looking at.
But, again, they’re not going to work for everyone.”
If you’re unsure about a product’s effectiveness, the guidelines suggest asking questions like: Do you think it will help?
Will it help you?
Does it ease your symptoms?
Does the product have any other benefits for your condition?
Can you tolerate the product?
Health Canada said it will also provide information about “how products are designed to work with your health.”
The agency says it also wants to provide information on how to manage “complex and complex conditions.”
The guidance comes on the heels of a recent report from the Canadian Medical Association that found Canadians with chronic conditions, including cancer, are under-diagnosed, under-treated and under-insured.
Health Minister Jane Philpott also recently announced a new health-care pilot project in Montreal, which will offer “a one-stop-shop for Canadians who want to learn more about their healthcare needs.”
The health minister said the pilot will help people understand how they can better manage their health and how to choose the best products.
Nesbaritt says the new guidelines are also “based on our experience as we have conducted research and clinical trials.”
“It is an important tool to help our health-conscious patients understand the options they have when it comes to the care they need to get the best quality of care,” she said.