PMPRB misleading Canadians on the value of innovative medicines

Posted on March 25, 2021

Ottawa, March 25, 2021 – Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) issued the following statement in response to Patented Medicine Prices Review Board’s (PMPRB) 2019 Annual Report:

“We are disappointed by a number of misleading statements in the PMPRB’s 2019 Annual Report, released today.

“If we truly want a vibrant life sciences sector in Canada, one that ensures Canadians have access to new medicines and vaccines, then we need to have an honest conversation about the contribution and impact the innovative medicines industry makes. It starts with fair and accurate reporting on patented medicine pricing, and on the level of investment in R&D by companies, as well as a close look at the value, not just the price, of the life saving medicines they develop.

“Contrary to the narrative in the PMPRB’s most recent report, increases in the annual Canadian price of patented medicines were, on average, less than the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Canadian prices remained in the middle of PMPRB’s basket of seven comparator counties. Overall, median international prices were 16 per cent higher than Canadian prices.

“PMPRB also continues to employ a flawed and outdated definition of pharmaceutical R&D, which does not capture the full extent of industry investments in Canada. In fact, according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, the sector generates almost $15-billion in economic activity, and approximately $2-billion annually in R&D spending. Based on this data, the industry has an R&D-to-sales ratio of 8.8 per cent, more than twice as high as that reported by PMPRB.

“The PMPRB report also inaccurately claims that innovative medicine prices are the primary cost driver for Canadian public and private drug plans. In fact, according to a 2020 private market report conducted by IMC, utilization was the primary cost driver rather than the price of medicines, which is being driven by the growth in chronic diseases.

“In addition to more accurate and holistic reporting on industry’s contribution to the life sciences sector, and Canadians’ health and well-being, a more balanced look at the commercial environment for life sciences in Canada is needed. This must include, but is not limited to, a review of the changes to PMPRB’s regulations which are scheduled to come into effect July 1, 2021.

“Fortunately, there is a better path forward. IMC is calling on the federal government to join the innovative pharmaceutical industry in a dialogue about the path forward to an actionable national strategy that will build a more vibrant life sciences sector, encourage greater investment, and, most importantly, enhance patient access to life saving and life improving innovative new medicines.”

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.

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For further information:

Samantha Thompson
Media Relations
Telephone: 613-790-4555
E-mail: sthompson@imc-mnc.ca

One response to “PMPRB misleading Canadians on the value of innovative medicines”

  1. Judith Murray says:

    Thanks for getting these messages out there. The general public does not know enough.

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