Alberta’s Shadow Health Minister, Matt Jeneroux, has used a recent implementation delay for new drug pricing guidelines from the Patented Medicines Pricing Review Board (PMPRB) to collect additional feedback about the proposed changes and will be presenting a comprehensive report to the government in the fall based on his findings.

Originally scheduled to take effect on July 1, earlier this summer the implementation was delayed until 2021, in order for the PMPRB to make “significant changes” in response to feedback it received during a public consultation period.
ASBM and the Gastrointestinal Society jointly submitted formal comments on the PMPRB draft guidelines during the stakeholder consultation. From the comments:
We are keenly aware of the importance to the patients we represent of increasing access to new and innovative life-improving and life-extending therapies by ensuring affordability of these medicines.
However, pricing policies alone do not guarantee access; other factors contribute as well. Ensuring that new medicines available to patients in other advanced countries are launched in Canada as well is among these key factors.
It is our view that while well-intentioned, the new Draft Guidelines have a strong potential to upset this critical balance, by disincentivizing manufacturer investment in product launches and dissuading applications for subsequent indications in Canada, thereby jeopardizing, rather than promoting, patient access to such therapies.
“I’m relieved that the voices of patients have been heard and the government has decided to delay the changes,” said Matt Jeneroux, a Member of Alberta’s Parliament representing Edmonton-Riverbend.  “However, we still have a lot of uncertainty and I expect the government to use this additional time to better consult with patients. We could see a drug shortage if these changes go ahead as planned in six months. Canada will no longer be a competitive marketplace and drug companies will be reluctant to bring their therapies here.”
Read ASBM’s and the Gastrointestinal Society’s February comments in their entirety here.