U.S. PhRMA's fight to prevent lower Canadian drug prices
2019-02-11 from cbc.ca
Offers of voluntary price freezes, backroom meetings with the powerful U.S. drug lobby, and rising industry rhetoric — those are some of the glimpses that emerged this week into the pharmaceutical industry's fight against Canada's plan to lower drug prices.
"This show of muscle is because drug companies are getting very scared about this," said Marc-André Gagnon, a pharmaceutical policy researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa.
The federal government has not been subtle about the policy goal, which is "protecting Canadians from excessive drug prices" — the title of the reforms announced almost two years ago.
Despite the dramatic name, it's a dense regulatory overhaul of the regulations governing Canada's drug price agency, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB).
Included in those changes is a plan to drop the U.S. from the list of countries Canada uses to assess whether a prescription drug price is excessive.
The U.S has the world's highest drug prices. Canada's patented drug prices are the fourth highest among the seven countries Canada currently uses for comparison.
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