Opinion: Reducing drug prices may carry hidden costs
By MEL WONG
Half of all Canadians may get cancer in their lifetime, according to a recent Canadian Cancer Society study. Access to cutting-edge medicines for cancer, as well as for other diseases, is crucial to a healthy future for Canadians and Albertans.
We believe the drug pricing changes Health Canada proposed in May 2017 threatens access to cutting-edge medicines because of fewer clinical trials in Canada and the delay or abandonment of new breakthrough medicines for Canadians.
Driving the proposed changes is Health Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board goal to make new patented medicines more affordable for patients — its mandate since 1987. It currently prevents excessive pricing of patented medicines through a comparison with seven countries having similar economic market factors to Canada.