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Insurers welcome the measures for the reduction of the cost of prescription drugs



August 12, 2019 09:30

Photo : Freepik

On the 9th of August, the federal government has announced the most recent amendments to the patented medicines Regulations. These changes will give the review Board the patented medicine prices (PMPRB) with the necessary tools to protect Canadians from excessive prices and will form the basis of the national insurance scheme drugs, according to an announcement from Health Canada.

“On the one hand, these amendments will change the countries to which we compare ourselves to determine the price of drugs, so the price here is compared to those of countries that are more similar in Canada on the economic plan and on their approach for protection of consumers against excessive prices of medicines “, one can read in the press release.

Eliminate the lists are inflated “artificially”

Second, the amendments will give the PMPRB the price of the market with real drugs in Canada rather than a list inflated ” artificially “. This will determine more accurately if a price is reasonable when setting a price ceiling, ” says Health Canada. In addition, the changes will enable the PMPRB to determine whether the price of a drug reflects the value that it has for patients.

“Today, we are the biggest step forward to reduce the price of medicines for over 30 years. With the progress already made to reduce the costs of medication, these important changes will make the drugs of prescriptions more affordable and more accessible. In the end, it is the entire population which will save $ 13 billion over the next decade, and that is one more step toward a national system of prescription drug insurance, ” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of Health.

Changes well accepted by the industry

In a press release published on the 9th of August, thecanadian Association of insurance companies of persons (CLHIA) has welcomed the amendments, calling them” crucial step to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for all Canadians.”

“The changes announced today will result in a reduction of the cost of prescription drugs, whether provided by governments or through collective schemes in the workplace offered by employers to 25 million Canadians, argues Stephen Frank, president and chief executive officer of the CPOMA. This modernisation is good news for all Canadians who currently pay the price of medicines among the highest in the world. “

The CLHIA noted that Canada spends more on drugs per capita than any other country in the OECD, with the exception of the United States and Switzerland, and that the increase in the price of medication is a challenge for employers who offer benefit plans to their employees.

Strike the right balance

“The insurers believe that a BRAND-strengthened is a critical step in the modernization of the regulatory framework governing the prices of medicines in Canada,” said Frank. We believe that the approach described today strikes a fair balance between lower prices anywhere in Canada and ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to the innovative drugs they need. “

Manulife has also issued a statement welcoming the amendments. “Manulife’s strong support for the measures aimed at reducing the cost of the drugs, said Donna Carbell, head of group benefits, Manulife Canada. Today’s announcement is important because it will help employers to continue to provide a comprehensive coverage of the drugs for employees and their families. “

Canada Life has, in turn, welcomed the amendments. “We support the reform of the federal government to make prescription drugs more affordable for Canadians, says Brad Fedorchuk, vice-president, executive, client, collective, Canada Life. The insurance industry has expressed its support for these changes, and the Canada Life welcomes this project. “

He also pointed out the reductions of costs that will help “to maintain protection for medicines affordable” for collective schemes. “This is a big win for Canadians,” concluded Mr. Fedorchuk.

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