Canada Announces Changes to Lower Drug Prices and Lay Foundation for National Pharmacare

From: Health Canada

Millions of Canadians rely on prescription drugs to stay healthy, manage chronic conditions and cure disease-yet they pay some of the highest prices in the world. Last year, more than a million Canadians had to give up essentials like food and heat to afford the medications they need. That’s why the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to lower drug prices for all Canadians.

Firstly, these amendments will change the “basket” of countries we compare ourselves to when setting drug prices, so that prices here are judged against countries that actually look like Canada in terms of population, economy and approach to health care.

Secondly, these changes will provide the PMPRB with the actual market price of medicines in Canada-rather than inflated list or “sticker” price-to more accurately assess whether a price is reasonable when setting a price ceiling.

Finally, they will let the PMPRB consider whether the price of a drug actually reflects the value it has for patients.

This suite of measures, which the Government is implementing to lay the groundwork for National Pharmacare, is the foundation of a system that enables all Canadians to get and afford the medicines they need.

Quotes

“Today, we take the biggest step to lower drug prices in a generation. Building on the progress we’ve already made towards lower drug prices, these bold reforms will both make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible for all Canadians-saving them an estimated $13 billion dollars in the next decade-and lay the foundation for National Pharmacare.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Minister of Health

Quick Facts

  • Canadians pay among the highest patented drug prices in the world, after only the United States and Switzerland. Canadians pay close to 25% more than the median price that people in other developed countries pay for the same drugs.
  • These amendments are expected to save Canadians approximately $13.2 billion over 10 years on patented drug costs.
  • In its final report, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare made clear that strengthening the Patented Medicines Regulations is absolutely essential to lowering drug prices and moving towards National Pharmacare.

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