New regulations for drug pricing could result in reduced access to medicine for Canadians
There is concern regarding changes to how the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) calculates the maximum prices for treatment.
These changes, implemented by the previous provincial government, have been described as “worse than we feared” by patient representatives after a meeting with PMPRB officials this week.
“We can only conclude that this strategy is tied to the publicly funded pharmacare proposals, also supported by the previous government,” Durhane Wong-Rieger, President & CEO of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, said in a news release.
“It will be a drug plan that includes no new drugs and perhaps eliminates some existing ones,” she continued.
There is concern that these measures, which will reduce drug prices by 40 to 90 per cent, could result in companies simply refusing to bring new drugs to Canada.
A recent survey from Life Sciences Ontario found that several pharmaceutical companies have already stopped plans to launch new medicines in Canada, and one even said they would be withdrawing a therapy treatment because of the new pricing formula.
As a result, many Canadians with rare disorders are concerned they will lose access to the latest medications that could help improve their quality of life.
“Canadians with gastrointestinal diseases and disorders have relied on new medications to help improve their quality of life greatly, and even save lives, over the past 15 years, but we know there are many newer and better treatments on the horizon,” Gail Attara, president and CEO of the Gastrointestinal Society, said in the same release.
“We can’t afford to have Canadians miss out on access to new therapies that could vastly improve their quality of life, but this will certainly happen unless these harsh pricing regulations are changed,” she continued.
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