New PMPRB Report examines most promising medicines currently in clinical trials worldwide

May 30, 2019

Ottawa, ON — Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), through the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative, today published the 2018 edition of Meds Pipeline Monitor. This annual publication provides a snapshot of the new drug landscape, highlighting medicines currently in clinical trials that may significantly impact future clinical practice and/or drug spending in Canada if and when they are approved for sale.

Meds Pipeline Monitor 2018 reviewed almost 6,000 medicines in the drug pipeline to identify 30 that have the potential to address an unmet need, offer an improvement over existing therapies, and/or treat a serious condition. The list of 30 medicines includes nine gene therapies, which are emerging as another category of medicines that may push the limits of affordability. The report includes details on clinical trial results and applicable forecasted revenues, along with key features such as orphan designations and clinical trials in Canada.

This element of our annual horizon scanning exercise is part of a suite of PMPRB publications that tackle pharmaceutical issues. Together with its companion publication, Meds Entry Watch, it encompasses the continuum of new and emerging medicines in Canada and internationally.

Meds Pipeline Monitor is available on the PMPRB website in PDF and accessible HTML formats. This report continues the research published previously as part of the PMPRB’s New Drug Pipeline Monitor series.

Quick Facts

  • In 2018, nearly 6,000 new medicines were undergoing clinical trials in Canada, the US and Europe.
  • Cancer treatments made up approximately one third of the pipeline medicines in 2018. Other important emerging areas included medicines for infectious diseases such as HIV and pneumonia and medicines for nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
  • Of the 6,000 new pipeline medicines, 733 were in late stage trials or evaluation. Over one third of these were designated as orphan medicines for the treatment of rare diseases by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
  • Of the 30 new medicines included in the Meds Pipeline Monitor, 20 were orphan medicines (including 8 gene therapies); 9 were oncology medicines; and 3 were biologics.
  • Over half of the featured drugs may significantly impact drug spending in Canada.

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