On April 14, 2022, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canadian Minister of Health, issued a statement announcing the Government’s intention related to the coming-into-force of the Amendments to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) Regulations. The Minister’s statement advised that Health Canada will proceed with changing the new basket of comparator countries and will not proceed with any of the other amendments. This is what patient groups have been advocating for since 2018, as the Gastrointestinal Society reports.

In February 2020, ASBM and the Gastrointestinal Society jointly submitted formal comments on the PMPRB draft guidelines during the board’s stakeholder consultation on the guidelines. 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.
Read ASBM and the Gastrointestinal Society’s joint comments here.