Protecting Canadians from High Drug Prices

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott announced changes that will be made in order to protect Canadians from high prescription drug prices.

In a statement released on May 16th, the Minister said that “Canadians are paying too much for prescription drugs, and the Government of Canada is committed to making drugs more affordable. Modernizing our approach to the regulation of patented drug prices is a big step in this direction, and will complement the work we are already doing with the provinces and territories through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) to make prescription drugs cheaper.”

One major change the government will focus on is the way drug prices are regulated in Canada. With the objective to lower the cost of prescription drugs, the Government is proposing to change the list of countries used for price comparison. By doing this, they hope they’ll be in a “better position to take advantage of lower drug prices in other countries, as well as consider value for money and affordability when setting the bar on excessive pricing.”

Health Canada also announced that they will be taking steps to provide “timely access to new drugs and therapies that are safe, effective, and high quality to meet the needs of Canadians.”

With timely and affordable drug access being a key issue in the cancer community, cancer survivors and patients hope that the government will find a way to lower prescription drug prices while being able to offer Canadians more, high-quality and effective drugs.

Certain drugs can sit in the approval process for months before being listed on a drug-formulary. With the proposed changes to align the drug approval process between Health Canada and drug approval agencies, the announcement raises hope that cancer drugs will be able to move through the process more efficiently.

Cancer survivors and patients are pleased that the government is accepting consultations from stakeholders as well as interested Canadians. In order to prepare a submission, please visit the ACT section of our website here.

CCSN plans to submit a submission on the proposed amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations that will be posted online at

To read the full press release from yesterday’s announcement, please click here.