The appeal surrounding Remicade arose in the context of a 15 February 2017 decision of the minister of health and social services to:
- halt coverage of Janssen's Remicade (with certain exceptions, including patients who had previously been receiving Remicade); and
- require that Quebec pay for the less expensive biosimilar version of infliximab only.
On 16 January 2019 the Quebec Court of Appeal found the minister's decision to delist Remicade from Quebec's List of Medications (the Quebec equivalent to a formulary) to be invalid and ordered the minister to reinstate the drug on the list.(1) In allowing the appeal, the court did not comment on the merits of delisting Remicade, instead holding that:
- the minister's decisions to list or delist individual drugs are administrative and not regulatory in nature; and
- a decision to delist a drug may require the minister to respect certain minimum standards of procedural fairness.
The court concluded that the minister had violated procedural fairness and should have given Janssen formal notice and an opportunity to respond before making the change. On 11 February 2019 the minister published an amendment to the list, reinstating full coverage of Remicade.
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