Topic: Pharmaceuticals and life sciences

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Drug pricing: PMPRB releases “What We Learned” Report on guidelines consultation

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB or Board) has released a “What We Learned” Report (the Report), marking the next step along the path to new Guidelines. The Report was prepared by Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc., which was commissioned to facilitate consultation with stakeholders and report on the presentations and discussions. Overview As we … Continue reading

Federal Court finds trademark confusion between the names of two approved biologics

The Federal Court (FC) has found the brand name of a biologic drug to be confusingly similar to the brand name of a drug used to treat the same disorder, but with a different active ingredient. The application of the ordinary test for trademark confusion was not affected by the fact that the names of … Continue reading

Dormant drug status can trigger generic access to an alternate Canadian Reference Product

On January 26, 2024, Health Canada published a Notice concerning its application of the definition of Canadian Reference Product (CRP) in the Food and Drug Regulations (Regulations). The Notice advises that if an innovative drug is categorized as “Dormant” in Health Canada’s Drug Product Database, then a generic manufacturer can compare its drug against an … Continue reading

Federal Court of Appeal clarifies scope of implied licence on sale of patented medicine

The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) has held that the sale of a single dose of a patented multi-dose regimen does not provide an implied license to use the entire patented dosing regimen. As a result, it is possible to infringe a dosing regimen patent by combining a first dose sourced from the patentee with … Continue reading

Federal Court of Appeal Decides Case Splitting through NOAs is an Abuse of Process

The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) held that it is abuse of process for a generic or biosimilar manufacturer to split its case across multiple notices of allegation (NOAs) under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations). Reversing the Federal Court (FC), the FCA found that the generic or biosimilar manufacturer should raise all … Continue reading

Federal Court upholds PMPRB jurisdiction based on “clinical similarities”

The Federal Court (FC) has refused to overturn a decision of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB or Board) that found that a patent can pertain to a medicine based on “clinical similarities” to the invention—even if the patent does not actually encompass the medicine. The FC concluded that the Board’s decision was reasonable. Background This case … Continue reading

Pharma in Brief’s 2023 Year in Review and Trends for 2024

As you start the new year, allow us to recap 2023’s important legal and regulatory developments for Canadian pharma. We also flag what to watch out for in 2024.  The most significant legal development in 2023 was the introduction of a system of patent term adjustment (PTA). On the regulatory front, seemingly all of Canada’s … Continue reading

Florida approved to import Canadian prescription drugs

On January 5, 2024, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Florida’s proposal to import prescription drugs from Canada. This is the first approval of a Section 804 Importation Program (SIP) by the FDA. Whether Florida is able to import drugs from Canada, including in light of Canadian regulations controlling drug exports, remains to … Continue reading

New Canadian Drug Agency formed, while National Pharmacare bill is delayed into 2024

The Government of Canada has announced the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency (CDA). According to the government, the CDA “will provide the dedicated leadership and coordination needed to make Canada’s drug system more sustainable and better prepared for the future, helping Canadians achieve better health outcomes.” As we reported, the genesis of the CDA … Continue reading

Federal Court refuses to issue injunction on infringed antibody formulation patent

On December 4, 2023, the Federal Court held that a patent claiming a formulation of adalimumab, a monoclonal antibody used to treat autoimmune diseases, is valid and is being infringed by a biosimilar product. However, the Court refused to issue an injunction removing the infringing product from the Canadian market, finding that it was not … Continue reading

Drug pricing: PMPRB releases scoping paper to consult on new Guidelines

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has released a scoping paper on themes and questions to develop new price review Guidelines. The scoping paper also includes information on how stakeholders can participate in the consultation. The deadline for written submissions addressing the scoping paper is December 20, 2023. Background The PMPRB has not had a … Continue reading

Ontario proposes removing barrier to listing “well-established drugs” on its public formulary

On October 19, 2023, the Ontario government proposed regulatory amendments that may eliminate the need to submit certain clinical studies and evidence when requesting that a “well-established drug” be (i) listed or (ii) designated as interchangeable on Ontario’s publicly-funded formulary.  The government is seeking feedback on the proposed amendments. Background A manufacturer can apply to … Continue reading

Drug pricing: PMPRB announces framework for new guidelines consultation

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has announced a framework for the launch of its consultation on new guidelines, beginning with a scoping paper to be published in advance of Policy Roundtable sessions to be held December 5 (English) and December 6 (French), 2023. The PMPRB has not had a full set of guidelines … Continue reading

Drug reimbursement: CADTH publishes procedures on time-limited reimbursement

Canada’s Drug and Health Technology Agency (CADTH) has published its procedures for a new time-limited reimbursement recommendation category. This recommendation category is intended to help provide earlier access to new therapies for severe, rare, or debilitating conditions where there is an unmet medical need. The pathway includes mechanisms to revisit the clinical and economic evidence … Continue reading

Federal Court: Transferring drug submission does not require re-serving Notice of Allegation

The Federal Court has upheld a decision of the Minister of Health (Minister) that the new owner of a biosimilar new drug submission (NDS) could adopt the notice of allegation (NOA) served by its predecessor.  Consequently, the new owner was properly added as a defendant to an on-going action under subsection 6(1) of the Patented … Continue reading

Drug pricing: PMPRB finalizes Interim Guidance amendments

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has amended its Interim Guidance to address prices of “New Medicines”, implementing a review threshold based on “below the median” of the PMPRB11 countries (Median International Price, MIP). “New Medicines” are defined as patented medicines that did not receive a PMPRB ceiling price as of July 1, 2022. … Continue reading

Drug advertising: Updated guidance from Health Canada on the distinction between advertising and other activities for health products

On July 31, 2023, Health Canada published its updated Guidance on distinction between advertising and other activities for health products (the Distinction Guidance). The Distinction Guidance outlines the factors that contribute to rendering a message or activity promotional in nature. Promotional messages and activities are subject to the advertising provisions of the Food and Drugs … Continue reading

Drug price negotiations: pCPA consulting on a Temporary Access Process (pTAP)

The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) has recently published a set of principles and conditions for a pCPA Temporary Access Process (pTAP) which will inform the negotiation process and potential product listing agreements (PLAs) for drug products following the Canada Drug and Health Technology Agency (CADTH) time-limited recommendation pathway.  CADTH Time-Limited Reimbursement Recommendations Starting in the … Continue reading

Canada implements patent term adjustment as Bill C-47 becomes law

On June 22, 2023, Canada’s federal government passed legislation (Bill C-47) introducing a system of general patent term adjustment (PTA). The provisions amending the Patent Act to introduce PTA passed without substantive amendment and are scheduled to come into force no later than January 1, 2025. Canada’s new PTA system is intended to compensate patentees … Continue reading

PMPRB Update: Consultation on Amendment to the Interim Guidance re New Medicines

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) has launched a 60-day consultation on proposed changes to the price-review process set out in its Interim Guidance of August 18, 2022 (Interim Guidance). The proposed changes would affect products classified as “New Medicines” with list prices that are below the median of prices in the basket of … Continue reading

Health Canada releases updated Certificate of Supplementary Protection guidance

On May 12, 2023, Health Canada announced the release of an updated version of the Guidance Document: Certificates of Supplementary Protection (CSP Guidance).  The CSP Guidance was revised to reflect amendments to the definition of “authorization for sale” in the Certificate of Supplementary Protection Regulations (CSP Regulations) and to reflect changes to Health Canada’s administrative … Continue reading

PMPRB Update: Federal Standing Committee on Health begins review of the Board

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 events … Continue reading

Bill C-47 introduces patent term adjustment: Proposed term to run concurrently with term of Certificate of Supplementary Protection

On April 20, 2023, the federal government tabled legislation (Bill C-47) that would amend the Patent Act to bring, for the first time, a system of general patent term adjustment (PTA) into Canada. Canada is required under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) to adopt a PTA system by 2025. The PTA system is intended to … Continue reading

U.S. Trade Representative cites Canada’s “IP problems” including pharmaceutical patent protection

On April 26, 2023, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2023 Special 301 Report on intellectual property. The report keeps Canada on a Watch List of 29 U.S. trading partners that “merit bilateral attention to address underlying IP problems”.  The report is the USTR’s annual review of the global state of … Continue reading
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