Canada announces reduction in drug prices

Following hefty opposition by pharmaceutical firms, the government of Canada publicized on Friday the final guidelines to decrease patented drug costs which, according to the government, would save the Canadian population C$13.2 billion over a span of 10 years.

In a statement, the federal health agency said, “these bold reforms will both make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible for all Canadians saving them an estimated $13 billion in the next decade and lay the foundation for national pharmacare.”

These regulation are the largest reform to the drug prices in Canada since 1987. It may eventually lead to a fall in the earnings of drug sellers based in the U.S., which the largest pharmaceutical market around the globe.

The updated rules were largely a follow-up on the draft put forward in December of 2017.

Ginette Pepitas Taylor, the Minister of Health, stated how the government was taking a huge step toward decreasing drug prices in Canada through these regulations.

According to the new regulations, Canada will no longer compare their drug prices with that of the U.S. and Switzerland, where the drug prices are considerably high, when determining what firmsshould be allowed to charge. It will instead compare its prices to France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Norway, and a few other countries.

“The [board] relies on outdated regulatory tools and information that foreign medicine pricing authorities updated years ago. As a result, list prices for patented medicines in Canada are now among the highest in the world,” according to a statement by Health Canada.

Petitpas Taylor has state how it is hoped that the new rules will be in effect in less than a year. She added how even though the cost-effectiveness of drugs and their effects on the government’s budget would be only applicable on new medicines, alterations in the list of nations Canada compare its prices to will probably impact some medicines already in the drug market.