Access to Treatment

The Canadian Liver Foundation believes that patients suffering from chronic liver disease should have equal access to effective therapies that will improve their quality of life, and ultimately, their chances of survival. Treatment decisions should be made between the treating physician and patient and these decisions should not be restricted based on the patient’s location, financial status or treatment status.

The Canadian Liver Foundation believes that federal and provincial policy decisions regarding screening protocols and reimbursement for liver disease therapies should be made in consultation with Canadian liver specialists and in accordance with the best practice guidelines from the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver.

Chronic liver disease leads to life-threatening complications including cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure if left undiagnosed and untreated. Thanks to research, increasingly effective therapies are available for two of the most prevalent forms of liver disease, hepatitis B and C. To ensure treatments like these, and those still to come for other liver diseases, make the largest impact, they must be accessible to all patients at the discretion of the treating physicians.

The liver is a complex organ and consequently liver disease is difficult to diagnosis and treatment must be customized to the needs of each patient. Specialists trained in hepatology and/or gastroenterology who treat liver disease patients are therefore the most qualified to provide input into the short and long-term impacts of early intervention or delayed treatment. Reimbursement decisions should be made in collaboration with specialists in order to ensure the best possible prognosis for patients across all jurisdictions.