The Standing Committee on Health (HESA) has begun a study on the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). HESA is made up of 12 Members of Parliament representing the four main parties in the House of Commons. In connection with this study, HESA has conducted two meetings to ask questions of witnesses regarding the PMPRB:
- The first meeting on the PMPRB was held on Thursday, April 27. During the first portion of the meeting, the Minister of Health, Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, appeared together with Stephen Lucas (Deputy Minister, Department of Health), Eric Bélair (Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, Department of Health), and T. Nessim Abu-Zahra (Counsel, Health Legal Services Unit, Department of Justice). During the second portion of the meeting, the former Acting Chairperson of the PMPRB, Melanie Bourassa Forcier, appeared. Ms. Forcier resigned from the PMPRB shortly after the termination of its Guidelines consultation process in December 2022.
- The second meeting was held on Tuesday, May 2. Two witnesses appeared: Matthew Herder and Douglas Clark. Mr. Herder is a former Member of the PMPRB who resigned in February 2023. Mr. Clark has been the Executive Director of the PMPRB for nine years. The same week that Mr. Herder resigned as a Member of the Board, it was announced that Mr. Clark was resigning as Executive Director.
The events leading to the termination of the Board’s Guidelines consultation process, and the resignations of Ms. Forcier and Messrs. Herder and Clark from the PMPRB, were a significant focus of HESA’s questions. Materials relating to HESA’s study, including video recordings of the proceedings and a written submission by MS Canada, are available on HESA’s website.
Meanwhile, the Government is currently seeking applicants for the PMPRB Vice Chairperson position and two Board Member positions.
The PMPRB has not announced any updates to its price review process following the termination of its last guidelines consultation in December 2022, and continues to operate under the Interim Guidance of August 18, 2022.