After multiple delays, the amendments to the Patented Medicines Review Board regulations will finally come into force on July 1, 2022.
Last week, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the federal government will proceed with the amendments to provide the PMPRB with new tools to protect Canadians from excessive prices for patented medicines.
“This will improve access for Canadians to quality medicines while generating significant savings over the coming years,” he said in a press release. “At the same time, these changes will ensure the sustainability of the health-care system, while supporting innovation and investment in the pharmaceutical sector.”
The changes, which were originally proposed in 2019, are the first significant update to the regulations in more than 30 years. After consulting with stakeholders in March, Health Canada will be moving forward with the implementation of the new basket of comparator countries and reduced reporting requirements for those medicines at lowest risk of excessive pricing.
The federal government said it won’t proceed with the amendments related to new price regulatory factors or with the requirements to file information of all price adjustments.
In a statement, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association said it welcomes the announcement, saying rising drug prices are a challenge for any employers that provide workplace benefits plans and the amendments will help ensure that drug benefits remain sustainable for employers.
“This important change will mean lower costs for prescription medicines whether they’re provided by governments or through workplace plans offered by employers to over 26 million Canadians. It represents good news for all Canadians who are currently paying some of the highest drug prices in the world.”