The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) regulates the ceiling prices that patentees charge wholesalers, hospitals and pharmacies for patented medicines sold in Canada, whether they are prescribed or sold over the counter. If you have issue with the price of a patented medicine, you may file a complaint.
The PMPRB will investigate complaints from Canadians who are concerned that they are being charged too much for their medication. Simply fill out the Complaint Form and submit it by telephone, in writing, or electronically.
Who can file a complaint?
Any individual or group affected by the price of a patented medicine can submit a complaint.
What information must be included in a complaint?
For assistance, simply fill out the Complaint Form established for that purpose. While a complaint does not need to follow a specific format, the following information is required:
- Your name, address and other contact information
- The name of the drug product in question; its Drug Identification Number (DIN); the dosage; the name of the pharmaceutical company selling the product; the price of purchase of the medicine excluding the pharmacist's fees; the date of purchase; and the province of purchase
The complaint may be submitted by telephone, in writing, or electronically:
Acknowledging receipt of a complaint
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 24 hours (by telephone or email) or within five working days (by mail).
We will determine whether the drug product is patented and falls under the PMPRB's jurisdiction.
- If the drug product is not patented, the matter will be closed.
- If the drug product is patented, its price will be verified.
- You will be informed of the outcome of the preliminary assessment within 10 days of receiving your complaint.
Examination of the Price
- If the drug product is patented, the price information that patentees are required by law to file with the PMPRB will be re-examined in light of your complaint.
- If the price appears excessive an investigation will be initiated and the patentee will have to provide an explanation.
- An investigation can be resolved in one of four ways:
- The investigation is closed as the price was determined to be within the Guidelines;
- The company provides the Board with an agreement to reduce the price of the medicine to a non-excessive level, i.e., a Voluntary Compliance Undertaking;
- The Board holds a public hearing into the price of the medicine to determine whether it is excessive and if so, to order a price reduction and reimbursement of any excess revenues obtained through the sale of the medicine at an excessive price; or
- The Chairperson determines that it is not in the public interest to approved a Voluntary Compliance Undertaking or to issue a Notice of Hearing
- You will be informed of the outcome of the examination of the price. It should be noted that the length of time required for conducting and concluding an investigation can vary greatly from case to case.
- You will be informed of the outcome upon completion of the investigation.
Confidentiality and Disclosure
The PMPRB makes every attempt to preserve the confidentiality of a complaint as provided for under the Privacy Act. However, if the subject of the complaint becomes the subject of a public hearing, it may not remain fully confidential.