Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

June 15, 2005 10:00 ET

PMPRB: Announcement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 15, 2005) - The Minister of Health, the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, tabled the 2004 Annual Report of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board in Parliament yesterday.

Total sales of all drugs for human use by manufacturers in Canada increased 5.3% to $15.9 billion in 2004 from previous year, while sales of patented drugs increased by 7.9% to $10.9 billion over the same period. These rates of growth have been the lowest recorded since 1997 and 1996 respectively. Patented drugs accounted for 68.6% of total drug sales, slightly higher than 2003.

In 2004, prices of existing patented drugs fell by 0.2% from 2003. Analysis of prices by therapeutic class demonstrates considerable variability in price changes. The Canadian to foreign price comparison shows Canadian prices at 91% of the median of foreign prices in the seven countries used for price comparison purposes. With the exception of 2002, Canadian prices, on average, have been 5% to 12% below median foreign prices since 1995.

Ninety four new drug products came under the PMPRB's jurisdiction in 2004, including 25 new active substances. At the time of the release of this Report, four drug products are currently under review while 21 remain under investigation. Since January 2004, enforcement activities resulted in seven Voluntary Compliance Undertakings (VCUs) by patentees ensuring that prices of patented medicines are within the Guidelines. The hearing into the price of the patented medicine Dovobet, initiated with the release of a Notice of Hearing last November, is ongoing.

Patentees reported total R&D expenditures of $1.17 billion in 2004, a decrease of 2% over the 1.19 billion in 2003. The R&D-to-sales ratio continued its downward trend with the ratio for all patentees declining to 8.3% from 8.8% last year and Rx&D members' contribution declining to 8.5% from 9.1%. Spending on basic research increased by 23%, reaching $221.7 million, and representing 19.7% of current R&D.

The Board initiated public consultations on proposed amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations and on its Discussion Paper on Price Increase for Patented Drugs. It is currently reviewing both series of submissions and will determine next steps in the coming months.

The PMPRB is recognized as effectively contributing to the Canadian health care system by regulating the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada to ensure that they are not excessive and by reporting key pharmaceutical trends of all medicines and on research and development conducted by patentees. "We have included more in-depth analysis of key indices in this Report in order to foster a better understanding of the current pharmaceutical context" stated the Vice-Chairperson, Real Sureau. The PMPRB strives to ensure that the system works in the best interest of Canadians.

The 2004 Annual Report is available on the PMPRB website.

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