Quebec Prohibits Financial Assistance by Drug Manufacturer for Patients’ Drug Costs

At the end of 2016, the previous Quebec government prohibited a number of common commercial practices by drug manufacturers and pharmacists with the aim of fostering greater price competition between drug manufacturers and reducing the cost of the public drug insurance scheme.[1]

Among the new prohibitions was one that would prohibit a manufacturer from offering any financial assistance to patients to help cover the cost of a drug on the provincial List of Medications (Quebec’s formulary). The aim was to end the practice of brand name drug manufacturers covering the patients’ portion of the cost of brand name drugs … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal Restores Suspension Period

On April 21, 2021, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) announced that it will restore the Suspension Period by default for all new matters and begin reinstating the Suspension Period on existing matters by removing them from its Selected Files List.

Selected Files

As previously reported in June 2020 (June 2020 Update), the FCA began to gradually lift the indefinite Suspension Period, [1] by adding ongoing files to its Selected Files List. The Suspension Period was lifted for these files which were to proceed according to the time limits under the Federal Courts Rules or set out … Continue Reading

Proposed amendments to the PM(NOC) Regulations: Patents claiming different salt forms of medicinal ingredients eligible for inclusion on the Patent Register

On April 23, 2021, Proposed PM(NOC) Amendments [1] were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. These amendments permit patents claiming different forms of a medicinal ingredient (e.g., salt forms) to be listed on the patent register and are intended to balance Proposed FDR Amendments [2] published on March 30, 2019 which allow generic manufacturers to file an ANDS for an alternative form of a medicinal ingredient in comparison to the CRP.

Proposed FDR Amendments Create Imbalance in Linkage Regime

As previously reported, the Proposed FDR Amendments were intended to clarify the regulatory requirements under the Abbreviated New Drug … Continue Reading

New Proposed Amendments to the Federal Courts Rules: Proportionality, Abuse of Process, and Motions Before the Federal Court of Appeal

On April 10, 2021, the Rules Committee of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court (the Rules Committee) launched a consultation on amendments to the Federal Courts Rules (the Rules) on proportionality, abuse of process, and Federal Court of Appeal motions.

In the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS), the Committee has stated these amendments are necessary to “allow the Courts to strike a balance between the importance and the complexity of the case and the amounts involved”, “provide the Courts with the necessary tools to deal directly with dysfunctional or destructive conduct in … Continue Reading

PMPRB Update: New periods for compliance with the new Guidelines

The PMPRB has confirmed that patentees of “Grandfathered” and “Gap” medicines will have two reporting periods to comply with new price ceilings to be set under its new Guidelines, replacing previous guidance that only one reporting period would be permitted.

Updates to the Guidelines

As we reported, the Guidelines were released by the PMPRB on October 23, 2020 and are intended to implement amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations that were passed in August 2019.

At the time they were released, the Guidelines were scheduled to take effect together with the amendments to the Regulations on January 1, … Continue Reading

Food and Drug Regulations amended: COVID-19 drugs and vaccines transitioned out of interim order framework

The Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) have been amended to allow for continued expedited review of COVID-19 drugs (including vaccines) while transitioning to authorizations by way of a full notice of compliance (NOC) under the FDR. Certain provisions of the amendments came into force on March 18, 2021, while others will come into force on the date that the IO expires.

These amendments are intended as a successor to the Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19 (IO), which is scheduled to expire on September … Continue Reading

Two new interim orders update previous orders on medical devices and foreign products during pandemic

The Minister of Health has issued two new interim orders (IOs) regarding authorizations for COVID-19-related products. The first new order extends interim authorizations for COVID-19 medical devices until transition regulations can be passed. The second new order extends and updates the Minister’s authority to permit the import and sale of foreign drugs, medical devices, and foods for a special dietary purpose to alleviate domestic shortages of those products.

The new IOs will expire on March 1, 2022, unless they are repealed or superseded by regulations.

A complete list of the interim orders issued pursuant to s. 30.1(1) of … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal provides guidance on the “inventive concept”

The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) has held that the “inventive concept” can go beyond the essential elements of the claim and may include advantageous properties stated in the patent’s description. The FCA confirmed that the inventive concept is the end-point in the obviousness analysis: for a claimed invention to be obvious, the gap between the inventive concept and the state of the art must have been obvious to the notional uninventive person of skill in the art.

Background

The patent at issue was Canadian Patent No 2,527,646 (the 646 Patent), which claims the chemical compound lisdexamfetamine … Continue Reading

Ontario Superior Court summarily dismisses Apotex’s novel monetary claims under Statutes of Monopolies, Trademarks Act, and at common law

On March 8, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court granted summary judgment dismissing novel claims by Apotex under the UK and Ontario Statutes of Monopolies, the Trademarks Act, and at common law. It is the first decision on the merits of Apotex’s novel claims and arises in the context of litigation relating to Eli Lilly’s patented olanzapine product (marketed as Zyprexa®). The decision stands to impact numerous actions brought by generics on similar grounds against various innovator companies.

Procedural Background  

Apotex Inc. and Apotex Pharmachem Inc. (collectively, Apotex) brought an action in the Ontario Superior Court seeking damages … Continue Reading

Health Canada consults on proposed guidelines for the use of electronic media in prescription drug labelling

Health Canada is seeking input from industry stakeholders on a new draft guidance document that discusses the use of electronic media in prescription drug labelling. The intent of the draft guidance document is to describe Health Canada’s expectations for manufacturers who distribute prescription drug information through an electronic means, such as a website or mobile app, that is directly linked to a product’s packaging or label.

Consultation on the draft guidance document is open until May 7, 2021.

Background and scope

The draft guidance would apply to prescription drugs for human use with labels that are linked (e.g.Continue Reading

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