When your time comes, your treatment may not – take action on federal price controls

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The federal government has introduced new price controls for patented medicines and vaccines (also referred to as the changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board or PMPRB).” The lack of clarity in how the new rules will be implemented along with the steep new price reductions for new medicines and vaccines have already had major negative impacts on Canadians, including:

  • Reduced access to new life-changing medicines and vaccines: Since the price controls were adopted, there has been a dramatic decline of 40% in the number of new globally available treatments sold in Canada in 2019 compared to the previous year. Most of the new medicines out of our reach are used to treat cancer and other deadly diseases.
  • Diminished access to clinical trials: Clinical trials are how some of Canada’s sickest patients gain access to the newest life-saving treatments that aren’t yet available. The number of advanced clinical trials went down by over 25% in Canada after the price controls were adopted in 2019.
  • Fewer life sciences jobs across Canada: The new rules shrink Canada’s life sciences sector, which has been at the forefront of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of Canadian jobs – in research, drug and vaccine development, and health delivery – are at stake because of the new rules.

Every Canadian will need at some time a medicine or vaccine that can save their life or help them live better. Canadians have learned this more than ever through the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing that a medicine or vaccine is available but impossible to access is something no Canadian patient deserves to go through.

If you share our concerns about the PMPRB changes, please use the following email form letter and social media post to contact the federal government.

To learn more about the PMPRB changes and their impact on Canadians, we encourage you to consult LSO’s previous engagements and research on this issue, including:

  • (May 2021) Dr. Jason Field participates in a The Zoomer TV panel discussion with health advocates and experts to discuss the PMPRB changes
  • Webinars (March 2021 and April 2021) on new C.A.R.P. survey data showing older Canadians’ views on access to medicines and the PMPRB reforms.
  • (February 4, 2021) Dr. Jason Field in www.healthydebate.ca explains how Canadians are paying the price for failed drug-pricing policy
  • Joint submission (February 2021) from Life Sciences Ontario and BioQuebec to PMPRB Guidelines consultation
  • Survey (January 2021)of pharmaceutical leaders showing that many companies have already delayed bringing new therapies to Canada
  • Ipsos Canada public opinion poll (January 2021) showing most Canadians want access to the newest medicines, even if Canada has to pay a higher price than some countries 
  • Infographic (January 2021) summarizing public opinion and pharmaceutical leader perspectives on access to medicines, price regulation and health innovation
  • Submission (November 2020) to the House of Commons Health Committee’s study of the PMPRB changes  
  • Submissions to the PMPRB’s guidelines consultations in August and October 2020
  • IQVIA medicine launch data (June 2020) showing that Canadians’ access to new medicines has deteriorated rapidly since the PMPRB changes were adopted (View related video presentations in English and French)
  • Survey of life sciences leaders (February 2020) showing that the PMPRB changes were forecast to delay medicine launches and cost life sciences jobs in Canada