Innovative medicines part of the solution for sustainable healthcare

OTTAWA, Dec. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - In response to today's tabling of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) 2014 Annual Report, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) President Russell Williams released the following statement:

"As Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry, our job is to discover and develop new, cutting edge medicines and vaccines. For decades, Canadians have derived huge value from these innovative products.

"The 2014 PMPRB Annual Report shows that the prices of patented medicines are not the main obstacle when it comes to healthcare system sustainability. Canada needs to reward the adoption of innovative health technologies and create a better environment to foster innovation in the life sciences sector.

"Canada is the second-lowest priced country when it comes to newly launched patented medicines in the PMPRB basket of countries. Canada remains below the international price median for the entire basket of products monitored by PMPRB. PMPRB even reports that Canadian patented medicine prices have decreased to 13% below the international price median, down from 6% below the median in 2013.

"The PMPRB report shows the price of medicines did not increase in 2014, and that pricing did not contribute to the increase in sales of medicines in that year. Over the past 22 years, annual price changes have, on average, been negative. 

"The total sales of patented medicines represent only 6.4% of total healthcare spending, a decline from 2013, demonstrating that healthcare budget increases are not due to patented medicines. Patented medicines also represent less than 40% of total drug spending in Canada, and public drug spending is third to last in the OECD. While there are increasing pressures on healthcare budgets, other factors are playing a larger role in the sustainability of the system.

"The PMPRB report shows a modest increase in research and development (R&D) spending for our members; however, once again the report does not capture what our industry actually invests in R&D in this country. In fact, based on figures from KPMG, between 30-50% of our investments are not captured by the almost 30-years-old PMPRB criteria. Our industry's research model is completely different than it was even ten years ago, not to mention 30.

"We believe that Canada's life sciences sector has the potential to drive economic growth and to be a critical component of the government's Innovation Agenda. However, we need the right regulatory, financing and intellectual property and access policies, so we can meet the challenge of international competition and encourage more life sciences R&D to take place here. We're committed to investing in the life sciences sector and we are ready to work with all partners in making the sector a critical piece of our knowledge-based economy."

About Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies is the national association representing the voice of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry. We serve our membership by advocating for policies that enable the discovery, development and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our memberships' commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. We represent more than 50 companies investing over $1-billion in R&D annually, fuelling Canada's knowledge-based economy, while contributing over $3-billion overall to Canada's economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, we work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.


SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

For further information: Sarah Douglas, Media Relations, Rx&D, Telephone: 613-236-0455 extension 525, E-mail:


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