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Episode 19: Rute Fernandes on What we Need in Canada to Have a Successful Rare Disease Strategy
February 4, 2022

Canadians rightfully ask why it takes so long to access new, innovative medicines. Government’s ability to review, approve and regulate the marketing of drugs is a robust, complex process. This is particularly true in Canada for people who need treatments for rare diseases, where access can vary based on where they are located in the country.

While the federal government has spent the last two years focused on the COVID-19 response, one of Health Canada’s key policy objectives is to create a National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases, and to decide on how to invest the $500 million a year that it set to flow in 2022.

In this episode, Peter Cleary is joined by Rute Fernandes, General Manager of Takeda Canada, a pharmaceutical company that specializes in the development of rare disease medications. They discuss global best practices to develop better approaches to provide access to these critical medications, and what Canada can learn from other OECD countries and their rare disease drug strategies.

Rute Fernandes is the Executive Director of Takeda Canada.

In her role leading Takeda Canada, Rute Fernandes provides strategic leadership to Takeda on its Canadian operations. Takeda Canada is an Innovative Medicines Canada member and a pharmaceutical company that specializes in the development of rare disease medications.

Prior to joining Takeda, Rute held several executive roles over her 22-year career in the pharmaceutical industry including business development, commercial strategy operations and country management. Most recently, she served as Takeda’s Group Vice-President and Head of Rare Disease Franchise for Europe and Canada. She also serves on the board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.