CCHE Seminar Series: Building back better from COVID-19: A case study of face filtering respirators in Canada

Rebecca Hancock-Howard
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Friday March 26, 2021, 10am-12pm, Zoom

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has required global mobilization of goods and supplies to help limit viral transmission and provide care for those affected. Shortages occurred for several critical products, such as N95 face filtering respirators, revealing vulnerabilities in Canada’s pandemic preparedness. What is the state of the current pandemic response products ecosystem in Canada? What is needed to create a self-sufficient and sustainable pandemic response products ecosystem in Canada?  Understanding and defining the Canadian pandemic response products ecosystem – the interconnected landscape of actors and practices in manufacturing, regulatory affairs, conformity assessment, procurement and distribution – is the first step to identifying appropriate responses to fill those gaps. In this presentation we will review the Canadian experience with the N95 face filtering respirator as a case study useful to demonstrating gaps in the current products ecosystem. The case study will be complemented with findings from stakeholder interviews and environmental scans to understand gaps in Canada’s pandemic response products ecosystem, and recommendations to move towards a more self-sufficient and sustainable future.

Rebecca Hancock-Howard is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Rebecca is passionate about using health economic evidence to inform real world decision-making and policy. Rebecca has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors as a consultant and health economist. Rebecca has conducted economic evaluations in a variety of clinical areas and settings, serving governments, local and global pharmaceutical companies, start-ups, device manufacturers, hospitals, and the academic community. As a senior health economist at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Rebecca supported policy development for key priorities. Her research interests include health technology assessment and evidence-based policy.