PMPRB report examines availability and pricing of new medicines

News release

May 22, 2024 — Ottawa, ON — Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) published the 8th edition of its annual Meds Entry Watch report today. The analysis finds that the number of new medicines launched in Canada is higher than the median for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries., Most new medicines come to market with high treatment costs, and specialty medicines such as biologic, orphan, and cancer treatments continue to make up a growing share of the new drug landscape.

The Meds Entry Watch report focuses on medicines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and/or Health Canada. This edition examines trends in the market for new medicines approved since 2017, highlighting the 55 medicines that received first-time market approval in 2021 and providing a preliminary analysis of the 48 medicines approved in 2022.The report also includes a section focused on medicines that were new to Canada in 2020 with an analysis of the rate of approvals per quarter over the past five years.

This publication informs decision makers, researchers, and patients of the evolving market dynamics of emerging therapies in Canadian and international pharmaceutical markets.

Quick facts

  • From 2017 to 2022, an average of 50 new medicines were approved internationally each year. Half of these medicines received an orphan designation from the FDA or EMA.

  • In 2021, a five-year high of 55 new medicines were approved by the FDA, the EMA, and/or Health Canada. In 2022, 48 medicines received first-time market approval.

  • Canada approved 43 new medicines in 2021 and 46 in 2022, above the five-year average of 40.

  • New medicines with Canadian sales accounted for 81% of all new medicine sales in the OECD in Q4-2022, indicating that Canada continues to approve and sell the higher-selling medicines approved internationally.

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