Protecting treatment access for Canadian lung disease patients a top concern
TORONTO, June 1, 2020 – “Today, more than ever, ensuring timely and innovative access to treatments for Canadian lung disease patients is critically important,” says George Habib, President & CEO of the Lung Health Foundation. The organization welcomes the news that, after months of consistent patient advocacy, the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has announced that they will delay the implementation of their pricing guidelines until January 2021. “We are extremely pleased with Minister Patty Hajdu’s decision to postpone the implementation of the patented medicines guidelines,” adds Habib.
In April, the PMPRB had communicated that they would be making significant changes to their pricing guidelines in response to the stakeholder feedback they received. The initial guidelines set aggressive price ceilings on patented medicines, threatening access to needed medications and clinical trials for many patient populations.
The Lung Health Foundation had called for a delay to implementation in a recent submission to the Standing Committee on Health, noting that patients and patient groups were becoming increasingly concerned with the approaching July implementation date, which would leave little time for feedback to be considered.
These concerns were augmented by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The draft guidelines had already begun to result in delayed or suspended drug launches, with several manufacturers choosing not to introduce their product into Canada. We now have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the federal government to ensure this does not occur again” says Peter Glazier, Executive Vice President of the Lung Health Foundation.
The decision to delay the guidelines’ implementation has signalled to Canadian patients that the federal government is willing to be responsive to their medical needs. Looking forward, this creates an opportunity for a patient-centered approach to lowering drug prices that guarantees patient access to treatment options that give them the best treatment and quality-of-life.
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Lung Health Foundation
About the Lung Health Foundation
The Lung Health Foundation is the leading health charity dedicated to improving lung health through a uniquely integrated approach that identifies gaps and fills them through investments in groundbreaking research and urgently needed programs and supports; policy and practice change; and promoting awareness about lung health issues affecting all Canadians.