The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) is an independent quasi-judicial body established by Parliament in 1987 under the Patent Act (Act).
The PMPRB protects the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring that the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive. It does this by reviewing the prices that patentees charge for each individual patented drug product in Canadian markets. If a price is found to be excessive, the Board can hold public hearings and order price reductions and/or the offset of excess revenues. The PMPRB regulates the “factory gate” prices and does not have jurisdiction over prices charged by wholesalers or pharmacies, or over pharmacists' professional fees.
The PMPRB is also responsible for reporting on trends in pharmaceutical sales and pricing for all medicines and for reporting research and development spending by patentees.
The Minister of Health is responsible for the pharmaceutical provisions of the Act as set out in sections 79 to 103. The PMPRB is part of the Health Portfolio, which also includes Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission, and Assisted Human Reproduction Canada.
The Health Portfolio supports the Minister of Health in maintaining and improving the health of Canadians.
Although part of the Health Portfolio, the PMPRB carries out its mandate at arm's length from the Minister of Health. It also operates independently of other bodies such as Health Canada, which approves drugs for safety, efficacy and quality; federal, provincial and territorial public drug plans, which are responsible for listing reimbursement decisions for their respective plans; and the Common Drug Review, which provides listing recommendations based on cost-effectiveness to participating public drug plans.