CADTH – Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health

canada_flag  Ottawa, Canada

“CADTH supports decision makers in their determination of what technologies should be used to achieve the best outcomes both on patient health and the health care system.”
– Dr. Brian O´Rourke, Director, CADTH
History and Structure

An independent not-for-profit agency funded by Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) supports informed decisions about the uptake and use of drugs and other health technologies in Canada.

As a national body, CADTH works with health care decision makers, industry, associations and other interested parties to ensure that all Canadians benefit from evidence-based information, recommendations and advice.

Initially established in 1989 as the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA), CADTH adopted its new name in April 2006 to better reflect its expanded mandate and the broader range of services and products it now offers to support informed decisions on health technologies throughout Canada.

From an initial focus on assessing medical devices, CADTH’s areas of focus now include assessing the cost and health effectiveness of drugs and health technologies and identifying and promoting best practices in drug prescribing and use.

CADTH is accountable to the federal, provincial and territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health through the CADTH Board of Directors.


CADTH’s vision is to facilitate the appropriate and effective utilization of health technologies within the health care systems of Canada. CADTH’s mission is to provide timely, relevant, rigorously derived, evidence-based information to decision makers and support for the decision-making processes.

How CADTH Works

CADTH provides information through three programs.

  • The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program conducts impartial, rigorous, evidence-based reviews of the clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and broader impact of drugs, health technologies and health systems.
  • The Common Drug Review (CDR) conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of new drugs and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec).
  • The Canadian Optimal Medication Prescribing and Utilization Service (COMPUS) identifies and promotes evidence-based best practices in drug prescribing and use.

Dissemination Activities

For CADTH, the effective dissemination of the results of our research to our stakeholders is fundamental. CADTH undertakes a range of activities to facilitate interaction, collaboration, and knowledge exchange between itself, Canadian health care decision makers, and partner organizations throughout the world.

  • Liaison Officers across the country create strong links between CADTH and its stakeholders. The Liaison Officers actively engage with health care decision makers in their jurisdictions making it easier to access evidence-based information about health technologies.
  • Our partnership activities, which include funding agreements, consultations, and symposia, centre on sharing information, learning from others, and increasing coordination and cooperation. In Canada, we are committed to building on existing networks and the significant investments in research, assessment, and appraisal that have already been made across the country. CADTH partners with more than 50 organizations across Canada and more than 15 organizations worldwide as we look for the most effective means to achieve our mandate.
  • Effective knowledge transfer entails an ongoing exchange between research producers and research users, often by means of traditional communications activities. While CADTH has always engaged in knowledge transfer, we have now stepped up our efforts by employing a broader team approach that draws on management, researchers, knowledge transfer officers, liaison officers, and communications staff.
  • Evidence-based information produced by CADTH is readily available at no cost through its website ( Results are also published as detailed technical reports, overviews, bulletins, alerts and articles in peer-reviewed journals. CADTH researchers present their work at national and international academic conferences and workshops and have been involved in the development of national consensus guidelines.

Current Projects

Information on current and upcoming projects may be obtained from the CADTH web site (

Future Plans

  • To support the implementation of a national Health Technology Strategy (HTS 1.0) and its related implementation plan
  • To ensure that CADTH’s products and services are relevant and responsive to stakeholder needs
  • To facilitate increased uptake and utilization of the products, services and processes produced by CADTH and its partners.

Agency Information

Country: Canada
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 32.8
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 17.9
Permanent staff: over 100
Consultants: variable
Ongoing TA projects: 25-30

Contact information

Director: Dr. Brian O´Rourke
Contact person: Dr. Brian O´Rourke

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
865 Carling Avenue, Suite 600
K1S 5S8 Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Tel: +1 613 226 2553
Fax: +1 613 226 5392