Critics hope new cabinet will put a stop to drug-price regulation changes

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OTTAWA — Critics of a major drug-price overhaul hope a fresh federal cabinet will put a temporary stop to the new regulations set to take effect in January.

Critics hope new cabinet will put a stop to drug-price regulation changes
© Provided by The Canadian Press

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is set to change the way it sets a price cap on medicines in Canada in an effort to lower excessively expensive drug costs. 

Several groups, including a coalition of eight Canadian life-sciences organizations, have written to government ministers to ask them to put off the changes pending more consultation, input from the new federal cabinet, and the resolution of several legal challenges.

The overhaul has drawn the disapproval of patient groups and drug manufacturers, as well as some pharmacists, doctors, academics and even provincial governments. 

While most welcome more affordable drugs, some critics fear a drastic drop in the sticker price for medicines will make Canada an unattractive place to launch new products, which could leave life-saving therapies out of reach for Canadian patients.

Health Canada says the implementation of the changes has already been delayed several times, and the government is committed to increasing the affordability, accessibility and appropriate use of medicines for Canadians. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.

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