Healthcare & Life Sciences, Canada updates

Federal Court issues two interlocutory decisions in Section 8 pregabalin case
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 27 November 2019

The Federal Court recently issued two decisions relating to Pharmascience's claim for Section 8 damages under the pre-amended Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations for its pregabalin product (Pfizer's Lyrica). In the first, the court granted motion for summary trial on the relevance of Pfizer's ex turpi causa defence; in the second, it overturned the prothonotary's order, which had denied Pfizer leave to amend a pleading.

Update on biosimilars
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 20 November 2019

Since June 2018 a number of biosimilar developments – including with regard to approvals, pending submissions, regulatory matters, litigation and market access – have taken place in Canada. For example, Health Canada recently published an updated Biosimilar Biological Drugs in Canada: Fact Sheet, which provides an overview of the regulatory framework for biosimilar drugs in Canada.

Amgen not precluded from litigating same patent under amended PMNOC regulations
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 20 November 2019

The Federal Court of Appeal recently dismissed Pfizer's appeal of its failed motion to dismiss Amgen's action regarding an infringing patent under Section 6 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) (PMNOC) Regulations. Pfizer argued that Amgen's action ought to be dismissed as an abuse of process on the basis that Amgen had unsuccessfully litigated the same patent under the pre-amended PMNOC Regulations.

Competition Bureau concludes investigation into alleged restrictions of off-label use of vaccines
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 13 November 2019

The Competition Bureau has conducted a preliminary investigation into allegations that a vaccine manufacturer tried to contractually restrict a provincial public immunisation programme's off-label use of a vaccine product. The alleged conduct could have resulted in higher costs for the province by preventing public health authorities from using competing products in their immunisation programmes.

PMPRB news
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 13 November 2019

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board has released its CompassRx 2017/18 Annual Public Drug Plan Expenditure Report and related news release reporting various statistics regarding prescription drug expenditures by Canadian public drug plans. The report indicates that prescription drug expenditure by public plans increased by 7.4% to C$11.4 billion in 2017-18.

Court dismisses judicial review application of minister of health's interchangeability designation
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 06 November 2019

The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta recently dismissed Allergan's application for judicial review of the Alberta minister of health's decision to designate Allergan's glaucoma treatment product Lumigan RC 0.01% and Sandoz's generic bimatoprost ophthalmic solution Vistitan 0.03% as interchangeable. While the criteria for interchangeability decisions and resubmissions may differ, the questions as framed by Allergan were "opposite sides of the same coin".

Health Canada updates Guidance Document: The Management of Drug Submissions and Applications
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 06 November 2019

Health Canada recently released an updated version of Guidance Document: The Management of Drug Submissions and Applications. The updates follow on from an earlier consultation and reflect the updated processes and procedures relating to filing a submission or application with Health Canada.

Eli Lilly granted leave to add new cause of action for direct infringement absent allegation of direct infringement
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 23 October 2019

Eli Lilly was recently granted leave to amend its pleadings to introduce a new cause of action for the direct infringement of claims relating to a new use without including an allegation that the product had been directly infringed. However, the court ordered that all issues relating to the new cause of action must be bifurcated and tried at the quantification phase, after all other issues have been determined.

Certificate of supplementary protection regime: second anniversary update
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 23 October 2019

The certificate of supplementary protection (CSP) regime recently celebrated its second anniversary. This article looks back on the previous year and provides an updated summary of approvals, rejections and pending applications, as well as further reminders and tips, including (among others) that it is important to consider the possibility of a CSP early in the drug development and approval lifecycle.

Innovators commence court challenges regarding recent amendments to Patented Medicines Regulations
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 16 October 2019

The recent amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations have been the subject of two court challenges launched by groups of innovative pharmaceutical companies – one in the Quebec Superior Court and the other in the Federal Court. The applicants before the Quebec court brought a constitutional challenge to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board provisions of the Patent Act and the regulations, while the applicants before the Federal Court challenged the validity of the amending regulations.

Amended PMNOC Regulations: second anniversary update
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 16 October 2019

The amended Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, which came into force in 2017, heralded significant changes to the landscape for pharmaceutical companies in Canada. Among other changes, the amendments ended dual litigation and provided innovators with a right of appeal. This article provides an update as of the second anniversary of the amendments.

Market access: biosimilars no longer reviewed by CADTH
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 18 September 2019

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) recently released Issue 8 of its Pharmaceutical Reviews Update announcing revisions to its Procedure and Submission Guidelines for the CADTH Common Drug Review, among other things. The update also announced that the CADTH will no longer review biosimilars through the Common Drug Review or the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review.

Countdown begins: getting ready for new patented medicines pricing regime
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 18 September 2019

The long-awaited amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations were recently published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. Major changes include the introduction of three new price regulatory factors and a revised schedule of reference countries. Although the new law will not be in force until 1 July 2020, there are immediate implications.

Updates to guidance documents: what you need to know
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2019

Health Canada recently released a revised Guidance Document: Administrative Processing of Submissions and Applications Involving Human or Disinfectant Drugs, which is effective immediately. The revisions include clarifying additions on the requirements for cross-licensed products for an administrative certification form and letter of authorisation, a drug notification form and labelling. Health Canada also recently released an updated Good Label and Package Practices Guide for Prescription Drugs.

Canada releases final amendments to patented medicines pricing regulations
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2019

Health Canada recently announced the final amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations. The amendments – which represent the first substantive revision to the regulations since their introduction in 1987 – are a significant departure from the existing framework and include new price regulatory factors, updated reference countries and changes in reporting requirements.

Drug and medical device highlights
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 04 September 2019

Health Canada recently published an annual highlights report for 2018. The report provides information regarding Health Canada drug (for human or veterinary use) and medical device approvals, as well as published safety issues in 2018. Moreover, the Therapeutic Products Directorate and the Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate released their Drug Submission Performance Annual Reports for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Health Canada consults on promotional and non-promotional activities for health products
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 04 September 2019

Health Canada has announced a consultation on its new draft guidance: The Distinction Between Promotional and Non-promotional Messages and Activities for Health Products. The guidance is intended to clarify and outline the factors and circumstances that contribute to rendering a message or activity non-promotional.

Bill C-97 receives royal assent and Health Canada opens consultation on advanced therapeutic products
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 28 August 2019

Advanced therapeutic products have been the topic of much debate recently. First, Bill C-97 – which includes amendments to the Food and Drugs Act, including a new framework for advanced therapeutic products – received royal assent. Second, Health Canada opened a consultation to seek feedback on what it should consider when developing new clinical trial regulations as well as implementing the pathway for advanced therapeutic products.

PMPRB Steering Committee on Modernisation of Price Review Process Guidelines releases final report
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 28 August 2019

The Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) Steering Committee on the Modernisation of Price Review Process Guidelines recently released its final report summarising its deliberations in providing stakeholder feedback on the proposed new framework for the regulation of the prices of patented medicines. The PMPRB will publish draft guidelines for public consultation once it has had an opportunity to review the report and the amended Patented Medicines Regulations have been published.

Regulations will require hospitals to report adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents
Smart & Biggar
  • Canada
  • 21 August 2019

The Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Serious Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting – Hospitals) and Regulations Amending the Medical Devices Regulations (Medical Device Incident Reporting — Hospitals) were recently published. The amendments were enacted further to Vanessa's Law and will require all hospitals to provide specific information relating to serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents within 30 days of first documenting the reaction or incident in the hospital.

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