Health Canada has been mandated to create a strategy for High-Cost Drugs for Rare Diseases. It is vitally important that this strategy serves the needs of the people it is designed to help while being financially sustainable in the long-term. Health Canada enlisted to Publivate to help them design and implement an engagement strategy that would ensure that a wide variety of stakeholders would have an opportunity to give input on the new strategy and ask questions of the Health Canada team. The strategy had to walk the line between informing the public of the progress made to date and the intention of the strategy and involving the public in the development of key aspects of the strategy.
Together, Publivate and Health Canada determined that the engagement strategy should be divided into two phases. During Phase 1, similar stakeholders attended meetings held specifically for them (ie: a meeting for patients, a meeting for physicians, a meeting for insurance brokers, etc.). These tailored and targeted meetings allowed participants to focus on the issues that mattered most to them without feeling defensive or antagonistic toward those who may approach the issues differently. Sixteen meetings were hosted virtually on Zoom during Phase 1.
In Phase 2, we analyzed what we had heard during Phase 1 and leveraged the results to develop more in-depth questions that helped define the scope and objectives of the High-Cost Drugs for Rare Diseases Strategy. We hosted three virtual meetings which were mixed-stakeholder events, giving participants with diverse perspectives the opportunity to hear each other’s points of view and offering Health Canada the chance to listen to the pain points and points of commonality that exist for all interested parties.
Ultimately, Publivate worked with Health Canada to:
- Design a two-phase engagement plan
- Develop participant materials including a Zoom how-to guide, agendas, slide decks, and Fact Sheets
- Manage invitations
- Host Zoom meetings and provide in-meeting technical support
- Facilitate 19 meetings bilingually
- Write interim and final reports from what was heard during meetings
The Health Canada engagement was so successful that the team returned to Publivate to complete a second round of engagement dialogues six months later.