Organizational Structure: Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

Organizational Structure

Board Members

The Board consists of not more than five members who serve on a part-time basis, appointed by the Governor-in-Council, including a Chairperson and a Vice-chairperson. The Chairperson is designated under the Patent Act as the Chief Executive Officer of the PMPRB with the authority and responsibility to supervise and direct its work. By operation of law, the Vice-chairperson exercises all the powers and functions of the Chairperson should the Chairperson be absent or incapacitated, or if the office of the Chairperson is vacant.

Find out more about the roles and responsibilities of Board Members.


Thomas J. Digby

Thomas Digby is a lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience in Canadian and US intellectual property (IP) law, in the field of pharmaceuticals. He has worked closely with diverse biotech start-ups, their venture investors, and, for 10 years, with the global pharmaceutical leader, Novartis.

Thomas attended Queen’s University (BSc [Hons], 1987) and Dalhousie University (MSc  [Biochem], 1990), and graduated from Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of Law) (JD, 1992). He is licensed to practice in both Canada and the United States (Ontario [1994], New York [1995], Massachusetts [1995], British Columbia [1998]). He was formerly registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (2005-2012).

After articling with Blakes in Toronto, Thomas worked with a variety of biotech start-ups including Visible Genetics, Inex Pharmaceuticals, and Xenon Pharmaceuticals. At Inex, he provided IP strategy for the discovery efforts that led to the lipid-nanoparticle delivery system used in current COVID mRNA vaccines.

Thomas joined Novartis at its research headquarters in Cambridge MA (2005-2012), and later moved to the head office in Basel, Switzerland (2012-2015). At Novartis, he specialized in global transactions, led a multi-country IP enforcement program, supported the global tax team and the Novartis Venture Fund, and was regularly involved with the IP strategy of the generic (Sandoz) and innovator (Novartis) divisions.

In 2016, Thomas returned to Vancouver with his family, where he is a sole practitioner supporting the IP strategy of a small number of Canadian and US biotech clients. Among other community roles, he is a Commissioner of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.




Carolyn Kobernick

Carolyn Kobernick

Carolyn Kobernick is a lawyer and former career public servant. Prior to her retirement in 2013, Ms. Kobernick had been Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Law for the Department of Justice since 2006. As principal counsel to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Ms. Kobernick was instrumental in the development and delivery of policy for the Department of Justice. In addition to identifying key strategic, legal and operational matters, she tackled cross-cutting national issues as the liaison between the Department of Justice and other government organizations.

Ms. Kobernick holds a B.C.L. and L.L.B. from McGill University and is a member of the bar of Ontario. In 2012 she obtained a Certificate in Adjudication for Administrative Agencies Boards and Tribunals from the Osgoode Hall Law School and The Society of Adjudicators and Regulators.

Dr. Ingrid Sketris

Dr. Ingrid Sketris

Dr. Ingrid Sketris is a licensed pharmacist and a professor at the College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University, with cross appointments to Medicine and Health Administration.

Dr. Sketris received her Doctor of Pharmacy in 1979 from the University of Minnesota, followed by her residency in Clinical Toxicology at the University of Tennessee Centre for the Health Sciences. She also received a Masters in Public Administration/Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University.

She is a leader in pharmacy, and has served as President of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada and as a board member of the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs.

Dr. Sketris is a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She was previously elected to the US National Academies of Practice.



Regulatory Affairs and Outreach

The Regulatory Affairs and Outreach Branch reviews the prices of patented drug products sold in Canada to ensure that they are not excessive; encourages patentees to comply voluntarily with the Board’s Guidelines; implements related compliance policies; and investigates complaints into the prices of patented medicines. This branch also informs and educates patentees on the Board’s Guidelines and filing requirements.

Policy and Economic Analysis

The Policy and Economic Analysis Branch develops policy and strategic advice; makes recommendations on possible amendments to the Board’s Guidelines; conducts research and analysis on the prices of drugs, pharmaceutical market developments and R&D trends; and publishes studies aimed at providing F/P/T governments and other interested stakeholders with centralized, credible information in support of evidence based policy.

Corporate Services

The Corporate Services Branch provides advice and services in relation to human resources management; facilities; procurement; health, safety and security; information technology; and information management. It is also responsible for financial planning and reporting, accounting operations, audit and evaluation, and liaising with federal central agencies on these topics.

Board Secretariat

The Board Secretariat manages the Board’s meeting and hearing processes, including the official record of proceedings.

General Counsel

The General Counsel advises the PMPRB on legal matters and leads the legal team representing Board Staff in proceedings before the Board.

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