OTTAWA PROPOSING CHANGES AIMED AT LOWERING COST OF PATENTED DRUGS

Dec 01, 2017

By Bob Komsic

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The Trudeau government is recommending changes to regulations governing patented medicines, saying it’s trying to reduce drug prices.
In what could be the first major update in those rules in over two decades, Health Canada says the changes may see an expanded list of countries Canada would use when comparing patented drug prices.
The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, a quasi-judicial body operating at arm’s length of the government, has put Canada’s prices up against seven other countries.
Some of those nations have the highest prices in the world, including the U.S., where they cost twice as much.
The proposed list would grow to 12 countries, which Health Canada says would offer a more balanced look at market prices.
Only the U.S. and Mexico have higher patented drug prices than Canada when compared with the three dozen members of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.
The government’s suggestions are published online in the Canada Gazette – considered the government’s newspaper of record.
The health department says the proposed changes could save Canadians an estimated $12.6-billion over 10 years.
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