Life Sciences Ontario responds to publication of final PMPRB Guidelines

Toronto, Ontario – LSO remains concerned by today’s release of the final PMPRB guidelines implementing the federal government’s patented medicine price controls. 

The final guidelines create a highly risky and uncertain pathway for commercializing new medicines and vaccines in Canada.

LSO President and CEO Jason Field wants to ask the Government of Canada “why did it take four months for the PMPRB to publish guidelines that contain no substantive changes, despite the vast majority of stakeholder input that raised significant and substantive concerns?” 

The federal government is also exempting COVID vaccines and therapeutics from the new pricing regime, demonstrating that the federal government knows the new regulations are a regulatory barrier, despite their dozens of claims over the past three years to the contrary.

As the world faces unparalleled uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it has become increasingly apparent how important it is to promote timely access to new medicines and vaccines and to foster a strong life sciences sector in our country. Unfortunately, there is already a growing body of evidence showing that the federal price controls are diminishing Canada’s access to new medicines, vaccines, clinical research, and life sciences jobs (see survey of life sciences leaders and IQVIA medicine launch data). 

Moving forward, LSO strongly urges the federal government to revisit the PMPRB regulations and take a workable and long-term approach to achieving its twin objectives of affordability and access to medicines to avoid further damage to patients and the life sciences ecosystem in Ontario. 

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