PMPRB continues to ignore the value of innovative medicines for Canadians

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Press Release

Ottawa, March 31, 2022 – Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) is disappointed by the latest Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) Annual Report, which continues to disseminate inaccurate representation of data based on an outdated R&D definition and misleading statements on the value of innovative medicines and vaccines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how critical it is for Canadians to have access to innovative medicines and vaccines, and the contribution of the research-based pharmaceutical sector to a strong life science ecosystem in Canada,” said Pamela Fralick, President of IMC. “Better access to medicines for Canadians means better health outcomes for Canadians. Building policies and programs that support better access and outcomes starts with fair and accurate reporting on patented medicine pricing and R&D investments, which the PMPRB’s use of a 35 year-old R&D definition has once again failed to do.”

Based on the most recent Statistics Canada data, the Canadian research-based pharmaceutical industry invested over $2.2 billion in research and development (R&D), up 13 per cent from the previous year, contributed $15 billion to the economy, and supported over 100,000 high-value jobs every year. Using this data, the industry has an R&D-to-sales ratio of 9.7 per cent, almost three times higher than reported by PMPRB, which employs a flawed and outdated definition of pharmaceutical R&D.

Contrary to the PMPRB’s assertions, IMC notes that increases in the annual Canadian price of patented medicines have been, on average, less than the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Once again, Canadian prices have remained in the middle of PMPRB’s basket of seven comparator counties, with median international prices 16 per cent higher than Canadian prices. These trends indicate that the innovative medicines sold in Canada are not excessively priced and are not materially increasing in comparison to CPI.

IMC continues to be concerned that the proposed amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations due to come into force on July 1, 2022, will significantly limit access to life-saving medicines and vaccines for Canadians, including those for rare diseases. The association and its members remain committed to working with the federal government and other key stakeholders to ensure a robust life sciences sector and enhance access to new medicines for Canadians.

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. “The association represents 49 companies who invest nearly $1.2 billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8 billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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For further information:

Marise Varanda
Director, Media Relations & Content
Telephone: 613-462-5369


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