Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

July 06, 2016 11:00 ET

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to Constitutionality of Federal Government's Drug Price Watchdog

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 6, 2016) - Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

In a decision dated June 23, 2016, Canada's Federal Court dismissed a constitutional challenge brought against the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), an agency created by the federal government to protect consumers from excessively priced patented medicines.

The challenge was brought in September 2015 by Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., which sells the patented drug Soliris. This drug is currently the subject of a legal proceeding before the PMPRB into allegations that the drug is priced excessively in Canada.

In dismissing Alexion's case, the Federal Court agreed with the Attorney General of Canada that the challenge was "bereft of any chance of success" given that the constitutionality of the PMPRB and its price regulation powers have already been affirmed on multiple occasions by Canadian court decisions.

Quick Facts

  • The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is an independent quasi-judicial body that protects the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive, and provides stakeholders with price, cost, and utilization information to help them make timely and knowledgeable drug pricing, purchasing, and reimbursement decisions.
  • Patented Medicine Prices Review Board staff review the prices patentees charge for each individual patented drug product sold in Canadian markets on an ongoing basis to ensure they are not excessive.
  • When Patented Medicine Prices Review Board staff find that the price of a patented drug appears not to comply with pricing guidelines, they will conduct an investigation to determine the facts. An investigation could result in: the closure of the file, where it is concluded that the price complies with pricing guidelines; a Voluntary Compliance Undertaking, whereby the patentee agrees to reduce the price and to offset excess revenues through a payment and/or additional price reductions; or a public hearing to determine whether the price is excessive.
  • If the Hearing Panel of the Board finds, after a public hearing, that the price of a patented drug is excessive, it may order the patentee to reduce the price of the patented medicine and to offset any excess revenues it may have received.

Additional Links

- Decision: Canada (Attorney General) v. Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board)

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Contact Information

  • Sofie McCoy-Astell
    Manager, Communications
    Patented Medicine Prices Review Board
    613-960-9728
    Sofie.McCoy-Astell@pmprb-cepmb.gc.ca

    TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired)
    613-957-4373