Abstract

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy 7(4)]

The innovative pharmaceutical industry employs thousands of people in Quebec and so has the ability to exert strong political pressure; the public statements of Sanofi-Aventis concerning the provincial reimbursement of certain expensive drugs are an example. "Maintaining a dynamic biopharmaceutical industry" is one of four main axes of the drug policy of Quebec's ministry of health. However, this role of government should not take precedence over the efficient and equitable management of health resources. We defend the legitimate and responsible choice of the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux du Québec (INESSS) to require an acceptable cost-effectiveness ratio from expensive new drugs.