A Canadian pharmaceutical lobbying group, Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC), and its members filed a lawsuit on Friday against the government, resisting new regulations meant to lower patented drug prices. The lawsuit is the second legal challenge from the group within the past three months after the Canadian government made major reforms to lower drug prices.
The final regulations, published in August, address numerous ways for Canada to prevent the increase in drug pricing. Specifically, the regulations alter the list of countries that Canada can compare drug prices before setting their own pricing. The new list removes countries where prices are the highest, allowing the average drug prices used for comparison to decrease. Additionally, the government will be able to consider the cost-effectiveness of new medicines when setting prices.
The Canadian government estimates the new rules, which will be effective July 1, 2020, will save roughly $10 billion over a decade.
IMC’s lawsuit alleges these new regulations will discourage drug innovation in Canada and requests the court to block their implementation. Through the limiting of pricing, the launching of new drugs will be delayed or entirely prevented. Furthermore, with staunch regulations, the group argues investment in the pharmaceutical industry will be hindered.
In a press statement, IMC President Pamela Fralick stated, “Canada is not creating a sustainable environment for innovative medicines.”