ontario news watch

Regulator to restart consultations on long-delayed drug-price reform guidelines

OTTAWA — The federal agency that regulates the price of patented medicines says it plans to relaunch consultations on the finer points of long-delayed drug-price reforms.

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board stalled the implementation of new guidelines last year to give more time for industry groups to weigh in, which caused a major rift at the agency and culminated in the resignation of several board members and the executive director.

The reforms, which are intended to lower the cost of patented drugs in Canada, were put on hold indefinitely.

The agency says it plans to hold a roundtable in December where all parties can voice their opinions and concerns, but has not announced when new guidelines are expected to come into effect. 

The implementation of the reforms had been delayed several times throughout the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the agency announced it has filled all the board member positions that were left vacant after last year’s discord. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2023.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press