The PMPRB: Where Are We Now and What’s Next?

The PMPRB: Where Are We Now and What’s Next?

Dara Jospé, JD/LLB, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l., Montréal, Québec
Mathieu Gagné LLD, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l., Montréal, Québec

ABSTRACT: There is a growing body of jurisprudence questioning the price control reasoning by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (“PMPRB”). It is therefore an optimal time to reflect on the status of the PMPRB’s jurisdiction and what’s next for patented medicine pricing in Canada. Since its establishment in 1987, the jurisdiction of the PMPRB has been in constant question and evolution. Up until recently, the PMPRB has pushed, and the courts have generally allowed for expansion beyond restricting jurisdiction solely to patents that afford the patentee a monopoly in the true commercial sense (i.e., market exclusivity for the medicine). But the tides seem to be turning. Through a handful of recent decision at both the federal and Quebec courts, the PMPRB’s jurisdiction may be narrowing rather than expanding. This article explored those decisions and their related impact.


DISCLOSURE: The Fasken team led by Marc-André Fabien, Julie Desrosiers, Michael Shortt, Eliane Ellbogen, Mathieu Gagné and Dara Jospé represented Merck et al. in the Constitutional Challenge. A Fasken team led by Geoff Cowper also represented Alexion at the Federal Court of Appeal.

CITATION: Jospé, Dara and Mathieu Gagné (2022). The PMPRB: Where Are We Now and What’s Next? Canadian Health Policy, MAR 2022. ISSN 2562-9492,,

Pharmacy scope of practice and access to Opioid Agonist Therapies after COVID-19

Sarah Lussier-Hoskyn, MA Economics BPHA, affiliated researcher CHPI
Brett Skinner, PhD, CEO CHPI, Editor CHP Journal

Under the regulations contained in the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), prescribing, selling, distributing and other related activities involving drugs like opioids are only allowed for designated health professions. On March 19, 2020, Health Canada issued an exemption, temporarily expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice to include activities usually prohibited by the CDSA. The exemption was implemented partly to facilitate continuity of access to opioid agonist therapies (OAT) for people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses the implications of making the exemption permanent.

PREVIEW: January 27, 2022 | PUBLISHED: January 31, 2022

Comparing wait times for an Alzheimer’s treatment in Canada and other G7 countries

Soeren Mattke, MD DSc, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Mo Wang, MS, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

The emerging disease-modifying Alzheimer’s treatments present a health system challenge because of the combination of a large prevalent patient pool and a complex diagnostic process. Analyses of system preparedness have projected Canada to have the longest and most protracted wait times for access among G7 countries. This policy analysis used comparative health system data and 17 semi-structured interviews with experts in Canada. The authors conclude that Canada faces a unique challenge to make a disease-modifying Alzheimer’s treatment accessible because of limited capacity for memory care.

PREVIEW: January 27, 2022 | PUBLISHED: January 31, 2022

Comparing COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement in Canada, the UK and Israel

Mayvis Rebeira, PhD, Affiliated Scholar, Canadian Health Policy Institute

This commentary article compares Canada’s vaccination procurement strategy with that of UK and Israel. Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply seemed unreliable in the early months of 2021 when both UK and Israel were able to procure a steady supply of vaccines for their population. As of the beginning of May 2021, Canada had only fully vaccinated (two doses administered) 3% of its population compared to Israel at 58% and UK at 23%. Canada eventually accelerated its vaccine distribution and by the end of August 2021, 66% of the population had been fully vaccinated.

PUBLISHED: September 23, 2021