The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is conducting a series of bilateral meetings with stakeholders during the week of September 10, 2007. These meetings represent the next phase of ongoing consultations, launched in May 2006, on the Board's price guidelines for new medicines. It is reported that the Board will hold separate meetings with representatives of Rx&D and members of the brand name pharmaceutical industry, BIOTECanada, generic drug manufacturers, consumer groups and provincial/territorial ministries of health.

Initially, the Board asked a number of questions on issues related to the categories of new medicines for price review purposes, the price tests for new drugs and whether the Board should review the price of a medicine in "any market" or the average price across Canada. The Board received 43 written submissions in 2006 and conducted five public meetings across Canada. In response, it issued a "Stakeholder Communiqué" in May 2007 and announced further work on an expanded list of topics. Among other things, the Board proposes to establish three working groups to study issues related to the definitions of degrees of therapeutic improvement; the identification of comparable medicines for purposes of therapeutic class comparisons in other countries; and the costs of making and marketing medicines. These working groups are to report in the first half of 2008.

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