Health Canada reports on a national strategy for rare disease drugs

Health Canada has published a report on its public consultation on building a national strategy to address access to drugs for rare diseases. This report follows the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a national strategy for drugs for rare diseases based on recommendations made by the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.

The “What We Heard Report” is organized around four major themes that were identified in Health Canada’s discussion paper and addressed in the consultation feedback. Health Canada’s report observes, inter alia:

  1. Ensure consistent access. Provincial and territorial formularies can have different criteria
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Health Canada’s proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations and the Medical Devices Regulations

On July 31, 2021, Health Canada published a Notice of Intent outlining its plan to amend the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and the Medical Devices Regulations in the spring of 2022. The proposed amendments are intended to modernize the Canadian therapeutic product regulatory system at every stage of products’ lifecycles from authorization to post-market. The proposed amendments: 1) authorize the Minister of Health (the Minister) to impose terms and conditions on drug and medical device authorizations and to require a Risk Management Plan (RMP); 2) extend flexibilities currently in use for COVID-19 drugs to … Continue Reading

PMPRB excessive price decision quashed by Federal Court of Appeal

The Federal Court of Appeal has quashed an excessive-price decision of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) in a proceeding concerning the drug SOLIRIS. The matter has been remitted to the PMPRB for redetermination.

Procedural background

The PMPRB issued a decision in 2017 finding that Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. sold SOLIRIS (eculizumab) at an excessive price in Canada and ordering Alexion to remit excess revenues earned between 2009 and 2017. Alexion’s application was dismissed by the Federal Court in 2019. The Federal Court of Appeal has reversed this finding and granted Alexion’s application on the basis that the … Continue Reading

CADTH convenes Advisory Panel on a pan-Canadian prescription drug list

CADTH has convened a pan-Canadian Advisory Panel on a Framework for a Prescription Drug List (the Panel). The Panel will provide recommendations on developing a potential pan-Canadian prescription drug list (or formulary). Stakeholder consultations are scheduled to take place in the fall and winter of 2021, leading to a final public report setting out the Panel’s non-binding recommendations in April 2022.

Mandate and membership of the Panel

According to CADTH, the Panel’s recommendations are intended to contribute to discussions on a potential pan-Canadian prescription drug list. The mandate of the Panel is to:

  • Recommend principles and a framework for
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PMPRB Guidelines update: consultation on changes re delayed implementation

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has launched a consultation on proposed changes to its new Guidelines (the New Guidelines). These changes include revisions to the price tests for some medicines marketed prior to the anticipated coming-into-force date of the New Guidelines.

The PMPRB has indicated that these changes are intended to account for delays in the coming-into-force date of amendments of the Patented Medicines Regulations (the Regulations). As we reported, the New Guidelines have already been updated once to account for earlier delays to these amendments. Following a further delay, most of … Continue Reading

Certain COVID-19 medical devices no longer hold urgent public health need status under Interim Order No. 2

Health Canada has issued a notice explaining a policy change to the review of applications for COVID-19 medical devices. As of July 16, 2021, Health Canada is no longer accepting applications for certain categories of medical devices under Interim Order No. 2 Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19 (IO No. 2) if there is no longer an urgent public health need (UPHN) for those devices. The notice states that there is no longer an UPHN for thermometers and ventilators.

Background

As we reported, IO No. 2 (enacted … Continue Reading

Consultation on proposed amendments to Patent Rules

The Government of Canada has proposed a series of amendments to the Patent Rules intended to keep Canada compliant with its obligations under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). As part of the proposal, the Canada Gazette published a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement on July 3, 2021, summarizing the changes and their anticipated impact. Interested persons have a short window in which to make representations concerning the proposed amendments.

We invite you to read our team’s in-depth IP Monitor publication on the proposed amendments, which discusses topics including a number of … Continue Reading

PMPRB Update: delayed implementation of Patented Medicines Regulations amendments and new Guidelines

Changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) regime, contained in pending amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations, have been delayed until January 1, 2022. These amendments form the basis for new PMPRB Guidelines, which are scheduled to come into force at the same time as the amendments.

The amendments contain a number of changes affecting the PMPRB’s review of patented medicine prices. These include new mandatory factors to be considered by the Board, such as pharmacoeconomic value; a requirement to include “adjustments” when computing average transaction prices reported to the Board; and a revised … Continue Reading

Amendments to the Federal Courts Rules

On June 17, 2021, a series of amendments to the Federal Courts Rules (the Amended Rules), were registered and came into force. On July 7, 2021, the Amended Rules were officially published in the Canada Gazette Part II.

Key Changes and Additions:

The Amended Rules include the following key changes and additions:

  1. The monetary relief limit for actions brought under the simplified procedure and heard before a prothonotary has been raised from $50,000 to $100,000.
  2. The deadline for delivery of a statement of defence is now 30 days from service of the statement of claim for defendants in
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Generic allowed to plead new grounds of invalidity not raised in the Notice of Allegation

The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) has confirmed that in an infringement action under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, the “second person” (i.e., generic/biosimilar) is not precluded from pleading invalidity allegations in its Statement of Defence beyond those that were raised in its notice of allegation (NOA). While new allegations may not be appropriate in every case, nor without consequence for the second person in a subsequent section 8 claim, they are not categorically prohibited.

Background 

The underlying Federal Court (FC) decision concerned a motion by a section 6 … Continue Reading

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