MP Wagantall hopes delay in PMPRB change will lead to increased access to therapies for rare medical disorders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YORKTON, SK - Yesterday, the Conservative caucus announced that it was successful in encouraging the federal government to delay the planned implementation of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) regulatory changes. The changes, which were scheduled to come into effect on July 1, have now been postponed until January 1, 2021.

Cathay Wagantall, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, said she has been contacted by a number of constituents and stakeholders who have expressed their concern with the potential PMPBR changes. The proposed changes determine the maximum price drug companies can charge for patented drugs sold in Canada. The PMPRB regulatory changes set aggressive price ceilings for some new therapies, especially those involving rare disorders, jeoparding the potential for these therapies to be brought to the Canadian market.

“In particular, Canadians living with Cystic Fibrosis, or those caring for individuals with Cystic Fibrosis, are very aware of the damage that the regulatory changes will have, and they have been speaking up on the issue,” said Wagantall.

“A drug called Trikafta, which has so far shown to significantly improve the lives of people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, was approved for market in the United States last year. However, the drug remains unavailable on the Canadian market because parent company Vertex Pharmaceuticals hasn’t applied for Health Canada approval, citing the PMPRB proposed changes as the key reason.”

Trikafta is just one of more than 25 new medicines that have been launched in the United States since October 2019, and none of those medicines have been submitted to Health Canada for approval, due to the uncertainty of the regulatory changes. There is a real concern that if the changes do go through, Canada will no longer be a competitive marketplace and drug compa-nies will be reluctant to bring their therapies here.

“The Conservative caucus is asking the Liberal government to see the delay to the PMPRB regulatory change as an opportunity to better consult with Canadian patients,” said Wagantall. “A website has been launched by our Conservative Shadow Minister of Health, Matt Jeneroux, to consult better with patients over the course of the six-month delay (www.pmprbconsult.ca). We will collect feedback over the summer and present a detailed report of our findings to the federal government in the fall.

“I’d like to encourage constituents of Yorkton-Melville to share their concerns and opinions regarding the proposed changes and help us convey to the government the impact that the changes could have on the lives of those most affected.”

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For more information:

Office of Cathay Wagantall, MP
306-782-3309
cathay.wagantall.c1@parl.gc.ca