Canadians need Ottawa to work with the pharmaceutical industry, clinicians and patients to improve access to new medicines and vaccines, write Nigel Rawson and John Adams in the Financial Post. Below is an excerpt from the article which can be read in full here.
By Nigel Rawson and John Adams, January 19, 2021
Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the 2014 “Ice Bucket Challenge,” created to increase awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and raise funds for research into new treatments, died of the unrelenting lethal disease on Nov. 22. He was just 37 years old.
ALS is diagnosed in about one in 50,000 people each year. It gradually paralyzes its victims as their brains cease communicating with their muscles. Sufferers lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow and eventually breathe. ALS victims rarely live longer than five years after diagnosis. The wife of one of us (Adams) died of ALS in 2014.
The new regulations have the potential to require drastic reductions in drug prices, which will make Canada a much less attractive market for launching new medicines. The result will be significant delays in accessing new drugs — or even no access — because developers decide low price ceilings, together with complex health technology assessments and harsh price negotiations, are not worth the trouble.
Sixty-eight briefs from individuals, patients, manufacturers, unions and associations have been submitted to the Standing Committee regarding the new regulations. Full disclosure: we were involved in three.