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The new IOs will expire on March 1, 2022, unless they are repealed or superseded by regulations.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

Federal Court of Appeal upholds one of the last prohibition orders under the old PM(NOC) Regulations

The Federal Court of Appeal has affirmed one of the last judgments granting a prohibition order under subsection 6(1) of the pre-September 2017 Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (the PM(NOC) Regulations). The Court of Appeal upheld the prohibition order despite a decision in a subsequent action under the amended PM(NOC) Regulations finding that the same patent was invalid.

Background

ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate or AA) is a drug marketed in Canada by Janssen Inc., Janssen Oncology, Inc., and BTG International Ltd. (collectively, Janssen) for the treatment of prostate cancer. Canadian Patent No. 2,662,422 (the 422 Patent) … Continue Reading

Federal Court finds 45-day limitation period does not apply to s 8.2 PM(NOC) related rights of action for unlisted patents

Summary

The Federal Court has held that the “related right of action” for infringement of unlisted patents under section 8.2 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations) is not subject to the 45-day limitation period familiar to patentees asserting infringement of listed patents under subsection 6(1).

Background

Merck Canada Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (the Plaintiffs) are involved in litigation under the Regulations against Sandoz Canada Inc. and Pharmascience Inc. (the Defendants) regarding proposed generic versions of the drug JANUVIA (sitagliptin).

The Plaintiffs initially brought infringement actions under subsection 6(1) in respect … Continue Reading

Bill C-213, An Act to enact the Canada Pharmacare Act: rejected by Parliament

On February 24, 2021, Parliament voted down Bill C-213, which would have enacted the Canada Pharmacare Act. The Private Member’s Bill was first introduced a year ago, re-introduced in September 2020 after Parliament’s prorogation, and defeated at Second Reading.

The Canada Pharmacare Act set out a series of criteria and conditions that would have been required before a federal cash contribution could be provided to a province for its public drug insurance plan: public administration; comprehensiveness; universality; portability; and accessibility.

These criteria were intended to align with principles of pharmacare identified in the June 2019 Final Report of … Continue Reading

Federal Court upholds patent validity and issues declarations of infringement against two generic apixaban tablets

In one of its first patent decisions of 2021, the Federal Court tackled arguments regarding the relevant date for insufficiency allegations and the level of disclosure required for demonstrated utility. The Court resolved these and other issues in the patentees’ favour, granting declarations of infringement against two proposed apixaban generics.

Background

ELIQUISTM (an blood thinner) is marketed in Canada by Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada Co. Pharmascience Inc. and Sandoz Canada Inc. (the Defendants) sought approval to market generic versions of ELIQUISTM in Canada.

The Court’s decision concerned the claims of two patents asserted against each of the … Continue Reading

PM(NOC) Regulations do not preclude defendants from amending the statement of defence

A defendant in a patent infringement action under subsection 6(1) of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations was allowed to amend its defence to include invalidity allegations not found in the Notice of Allegation.

Background

In an action under subsection 6(1) of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations) concerning three patents, the defendant sought to amend its statement of defence to add new prior art references and invalidity allegations. These allegations had been raised against the plaintiffs by a different generic in another subsection 6(1) proceeding, but were not in the defendant’s notice of allegation … Continue Reading

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