Federal Minister of Health tables the 2016 Annual Report of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

October 27, 2017

Ottawa, ON — Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Federal Minister of Health, yesterday tabled the 2016 Annual Report of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) with the Clerks of the House of Commons and the Senate.

The PMPRB is an independent quasi-judicial body that protects the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive, and provides stakeholders with price, cost, and utilization information to help them make timely and knowledgeable drug pricing, purchasing, and reimbursement decisions.

The 2016 Annual Report sets out detailed information on the PMPRB’s regulatory activities; patentees’ compliance with the Board’s pricing guidelines; sales and price trends of patented drugs in Canada, including international price comparisons, trends in all drug expenditures, and spending on pharmaceutical research and development.

Quick Facts

  • Canadian patented drug prices were fourth-highest among the seven countries Canada compares itself to under PMPRB regulations (the “PMPRB7”), lower than Switzerland, Germany and the United States but higher than the UK, France, Sweden and Italy.
  • Sales of patented drug products increased in 2016 by 2.6% to $15.5 billion.
  • Drugs that treat blood and blood forming organs had the greatest impact on sales growth in 2016. This class of drugs accounted for 5.7% of sales in 2016, an increase of 15.4% from the previous year.
  • 1,435 patented drug products were reported to the PMPRB in 2016.
  • The R&D-to-sales ratios of pharmaceutical patentees in Canada remained unchanged from 2015 at 4.4%, as compared to the 22% average in the PMRPB7.
  • There were 101 ongoing investigations into possible excessive patented drug pricing as of March 31, 2017.
  • Enforcement action taken by the PMPRB in 2016 resulted in over $5 million in excess revenues paid back by pharmaceutical patentees to the Government of Canada, in addition to price reductions.
  • Between 2006 and 2016 the number of medicines in Canada with an annual per beneficiary cost of at least $10,000 increased by over 200% and now accounts for 40% of patented drug sales as compared to 7.6% in 2006.

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