OTTAWA, ON / ACCESSWIRE / June 12, 2019 / The recommendations put forward today by the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare have the potential to improve access to medicines for more Canadians by providing coverage for the 4.1 million Canadians who are uninsured or underinsured, according to Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC).
'Our industry supports universal pharmacare to make prescription drugs more affordable and more accessible to all Canadians, regardless of income, age, or postal code,' stated IMC President Pamela Fralick. 'Regardless of the model the government ultimately adopts, it must ensure Canadians maintain access to at least the same range of cutting-edge medicines they rely on today to survive and maintain their quality of life.'
As IMC considers the report's recommendations, we look forward to engaging with federal, provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders regarding the potential scope of a national formulary. IMC believes the continued existence of the private market for drug coverage is critical to help to ensure that patients' standard of care is not disrupted if their medications are not listed on a future formulary.
IMC is especially motivated to work with governments in the creation of a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases. The industry has been exploring a potential policy framework to make these high-cost drugs more affordable and accessible to Canadians suffering from rare diseases, particularly within the context of a national pharmacare program.
While IMC was pleased to see the Advisory Council's recommendation to 'grow our world-class health innovation ecosystem and ensure Canada continues to contribute to the development of innovative drugs and related therapies', it noted that proposed regulatory changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) will have significant negative impacts for the life sciences sector. These proposed changes will not only discourage investment in Canadian health research, they also risk reducing patients' access to the latest treatments by delaying, even discouraging the launch of new medicines in Canada.
'As the makers of cutting-edge innovative treatments, the industry has a role to play in ensuring that any pharmacare plan results in the best possible health outcomes for Canadian patients,' concluded Ms. Fralick. 'We will be assessing the report in depth in the coming days.'
About Innovative Medicines Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members' commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
 Conference Board of Canada, 'Understanding the Gap: A Pan-Canadian Analysis of Prescription Drug Insurance Coverage' http://innovativemedicines.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/20170712-understanding-the-gap.pdf.
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SOURCE: Innovative Medicines Canada
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