Government of Canada announces appointment to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board
February 1, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the appointment of the new Chairperson to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB).
Following a merit-based selection process, Thomas J. Digby is appointed for a term of five years. Mr. Digby is a lawyer with expertise in intellectual property and has an extensive educational background in the Biological Sciences. He has over 25 years of experience working with the pharmaceutical sector and is highly knowledgeable regarding patented medicines.
The PMPRB is an independent quasi-judicial body established by Parliament in 1987 under the Patent Act. As an arm’s-length organization of the government, the PMPRB reviews the prices patentees charge for patented drug products in the Canadian market. As part of their mandate, the PMPRB can work with patentees to achieve voluntary price reductions, or the Board can hold public hearings to determine whether a price is excessive, and if so, order price reductions or the offset of excess revenues.
The Government of Canada is committed to appointing highly qualified candidates to best serve the interests of Canadians and is committed to open, transparent and merit-based processes for selecting Governor in Council appointees. Appointees play a fundamental role in Canadian democracy as they serve on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies and tribunals across the country.
“The PMPRB plays an important role in protecting and informing Canadians on the price of patented medicines by reporting on pharmaceutical trends and ensuring that the prices in Canada are not excessive. I congratulate Mr. Digby on his appointment as the new Chairperson. His collective depth of knowledge and extensive experience in the field of generic and innovator medicines will be an asset to the Board.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Canada’s Minister of Health
The PMPRB protects the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring that the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive. It does this by reviewing the prices that patentees charge for each individual patented drug product in Canadian markets. The Board can hold public hearings and order price reductions and/or the offset of excess revenues. The PMPRB regulates the list prices of patented medicines and does not have jurisdiction over prices charged by wholesalers or pharmacies, or over pharmacists' professional fees.
The PMPRB is also responsible for reporting on trends in pharmaceutical sales and pricing for all medicines and for reporting on research and development spending by patentees.
On July 1, 2022, amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations (PMR) came-into-force. These amendments were designed to provide the PMPRB with new tools to protect Canadians from excessive prices for patented medicines. They include a new basket of comparator countries and reduced reporting requirements for medicines with lowest risk of excessive pricing.
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
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