Health minister accused of meddling in work of drug price review board – CBC

A former board member tells MPs Jean-Yves Duclos has set a dangerous precedent

May 02, 2023

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’ request to suspend consultations on guidelines that would lower the price of pharmaceutical drugs has made it harder for the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board to do its work, a former board member told MPs Tuesday.

Matthew Herder — who resigned from the board in February, citing a lack of government support for needed reforms — told a parliamentary committee that Duclos’ interference in the board’s work has set a dangerous precedent.

“Industry now knows that it can bypass the [Patented Medicine Prices Review Board] when it isn’t satisfied with the board’s policy direction and get the minister to do its bidding,” Herder said.

In 2016, the federal government announced that it would protect Canadians from excessive drug prices by launching consultations on proposed amendments to regulations. The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) was tasked with consulting industry and other stakeholders and coming up with guidelines.

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