Call for Abstracts

Submission Deadline: Friday, October 25, 2019

CADTH is now accepting abstracts for the 2020 CADTH Symposium.

The 2020 CADTH Symposium will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel in Toronto, Ontario from April 19 to 21, 2020. The theme is Decision-Making in an Age of Uncertainty. Topics relevant to this theme include, but are not limited to:

  • methods to address uncertainty
  • disinvestment
  • innovative payment schemes
  • decision-making by patients, clinicians, and policy-makers
  • implementation issues
  • managing uncertainty.

The CADTH Symposium is widely considered a “must attend” event for anyone with an interest in the assessment, uptake, and management of drugs and medical devices in Canada. The CADTH Symposium typically attracts 750 to 900 delegates from across Canada and beyond, including health researchers; health economists; senior leaders from government, regional health authorities, hospitals, and other facilities; clinicians and patients; students; and industry representatives. With the Symposium in 2020 being held in Toronto for the very first time, we are anticipating 1,000 to 1,200 delegates. As one of the major health technology assessment conferences in the world, the CADTH Symposium offers a unique opportunity for delegates to learn from local, national, and international experts, and to share expertise and knowledge.

Presentation Formats

Abstracts will be accepted for presentations in the following formats:

Breakfast Session

Breakfast sessions are 45- to 60-minutes-long and must address a topic relevant to CADTH Symposium delegates. A breakfast session may involve a panel or a single presenter.


A workshop is an interactive session on a specific topic of interest to producers or users of evidence-based information on drugs and medical devices. Workshops can be a full day (six hours) or a half-day (three hours).

Panel Discussion

Panel discussions are 75-minutes-long and provide different perspectives on a topic relevant to CADTH Symposium delegates. Panels can include a maximum of four experts (plus a moderator). Abstracts must indicate if identified panellists are proposed or confirmed. Preference will be given to abstracts with confirmed panellists. Panel abstracts with proposed panellists may be given provisional approval subject to the confirmation of all panellists. CADTH is committed to balanced panels, including gender balance, and will not accept manels (all-male panels).


A debate is a 75-minute moderated session in which two teams of two debaters speak in support of or in opposition to a clear position statement. At the end of the debate, the audience votes to determine the debate winner. CADTH is committed to balanced presentations, including gender balance, and will not accept all-male debates. Debate moderators must be neutral. CADTH is willing to assist with identifying a debate moderator upon request. Here are some examples of position statements:

  • Artificial intelligence, or AI, applications will transform health care, becoming the new normal in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Gene therapies are most appropriately assessed as medical devices.
  • Clinicians and patients who receive industry funding should be excluded from participating in the review of a product from the company that provided the funding.

Oral Presentation

An oral presentation will be 15- to 20-minutes-long, including time for questions. Oral presentations will be grouped thematically (usually three or four presentations). The length will be determined by the number of oral presentations during a concurrent session.

Poster Presentation

A poster presentation can be a good way to present targeted research or significant work in progress. Posters will be highlighted at the Welcome Reception and displayed for the duration of the CADTH Symposium. Poster presenters will have an opportunity to exchange ideas one-on-one with delegates and to discuss their work in detail.

Please note that presenters and panellists are responsible for all CADTH Symposium-related expenses, such as registration, accommodation, and travel.

Details of the CADTH Patient Group and Student Travel Awards Program will be announced on the CADTH Symposium website in September 2019

Who Should Submit an Abstract?

Presentations from all interested parties are welcome. These include:

  • federal, provincial, and territorial health care policy-makers and decision-makers, economists, and regulators
  • health care executives and managers from health regions, alliances, hospitals, and long-term care facilities
  • researchers (from non-profit organizations, universities, regional health authorities, hospitals, and other settings)
  • health economists
  • knowledge transfer and exchange professionals
  • clinicians
  • representatives from the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, and consultants
  • health care associations and patient groups
  • professional associations
  • graduate and undergraduate students studying in a health- or health technology assessment-related field.

Symposium Objectives

The objectives of the 2020 CADTH Symposium are to:

  • provide a forum for productive discussion between parties committed to the use of evidence-based information and advice to inform policy, influence practice, and improve health
  • provide education and training that will build the capacity to produce and use evidence-based information on drugs and other health technologies
  • foster a better understanding about the perspectives of different health care system sectors and the challenges they face, and to jointly look for solutions and new approaches that will enhance the quality and sustainability of health care in Canada.

Abstract Guidelines

Preference Will Be Given to Abstracts That:

  • support the Symposium theme
  • are relevant to the Symposium audience
  • are of high quality (appropriate methodology, completeness of results, appropriate length of 250 words, appropriate wording) and are clear and easy to understand
  • are innovative or add to an existing body of knowledge
  • have all presenters and moderators identified and confirmed
  • focus on topics related to improving mental health and addictions services; home and community care; services for seniors; the provision of care for Indigenous populations or services in rural and remote communities.

Note: Some invited sessions and presentations may also be incorporated into the program.

Submission Form

Abstracts must be submitted online using the abstract submission form. The maximum length of an abstract is 250 words. CADTH does not require a specific format for abstracts. However, the abstract text should be clear and easy to understand. It should also identify the types of presenters rather than the names of specific individuals (e.g., “The panel will include perspectives from government, industry, and patient groups.”)

The abstract submission form includes fields for the following required information:

  • Title — one that clearly identifies your presentation
  • Submission contact — name, title, organization, contact information
  • Presentation format — submitted abstracts will only be considered for presentation in the selected format
  • Intended audience — who you want to reach with your presentation
  • Purpose or educational objective — what attendees will leave with
  • Presenters — names, titles, organizations, contact information, confirmed or proposed status; please provide a brief (65 words maximum) narrative biography and picture (JPEG format, minimum of 200 KB) for each presenter
  • Authors — names, titles, organizations, contact information; photos and biographies are not required for co-authors unless they are also presenting
  • Panel moderator, if applicable — name, title, organization, contact information
  • Speaker disclosure and conflict of interest.

This information does not count toward the 250-word abstract text total.

Speaker Declarations/Conflict of Interest

Individual speaker declarations identifying all actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to the program, topic, or presentation must be disclosed when submitting an abstract. For each speaker, either of the following is required:

  • a declaration that the speaker has no actual or potential conflict in relation to the program, topic, or presentation
  • a declaration of a competing interest or affiliation that could be perceived as having a bearing on the program, topic, or presentation; and a listing of all current competing interests or affiliations.


Abstracts must be received by 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 25, 2019.
Questions may be sent by email to