Liberal policies are pricing Canada out of the pharma market
Photo by Srdjan Zivulovic/Illustration/Reuters/File Article content Canada failed to develop a domestic COVID vaccine in time for this pandemic, which explains why Ottawaallocated $2.2 billion in the budget hermes hair comb replica
for the life sciences industry in the hope we are ready for the next one.
Yet the federal government’s proposed drug pricing reforms, due to come into force on July 1, appear to work at cross purposes to the mission of rebuilding bio manufacturing capability.
“Canada should start preparing for the inevitable next pandemic by establishing a constructive partnership between the federal government and innovative pharma,” Paul Lucas, the retired chief executive of Glaxo SmithKline Canada, wrote earlier this year.
But relations with Big Pharma are at a nadir because of what many people consider the heavy handed approach of the federal regulator, the Patented Medicine Price Review Board.
Article content Industry and patient advocates say that it has been over zealous in trying to reduce prices, in order to save $13 billion over 10 years.
Relations have been tense for years but things turned nasty after Conservative MP Tom Kmiec released a PMPRB communications plan and internal emails he obtained through Access to Information legislation.
More On This Topic Tasha Kheiriddin: The Liberals went hostile against Big Pharma.
Article content The regulator added a number of patient advocacy groups to its enemies list.
Durhane Wong Rieger, the president of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, wrote to the prime minister to say she was “dismayed by the open contempt that the PMPRB displayed towards patients and patient organizations.”
At the parliamentary health committee on Friday, Kelly Grover, of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, said the PMPRB has attempted to “villainize our efforts” in ways that are “not reasonable or appropriate for a federal agency.”
At its core, the disagreement is about the Liberal government’s desire to reduce drug prices to make its plan to introduce national pharmacare more affordable.