There have been a number of key developments in Canadian life sciences IP and regulatory law over the past 12 months, including significant amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations, a number of biosimilars developments relating to approvals, pending submissions and naming and the second anniversaries of the certificate of supplementary protection regime and the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations.
The United States, Mexico and Canada recently signed amendments to the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The original USMCA was signed on 30 November 2018. The recent amendments have removed a provision, such that Canada can maintain its current data protection laws which provide an eight-year data protection term, with a possible six-month paediatric extension, for all pharmaceutical products, including biologics.
In 2018 the Federal Court granted Teva's claim for compensation under Section 8 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations relating to Teva's bortezomib product. According to Justice Locke, Teva would not have infringed Patents 2,203,936 and 2,435,146 because their relevant claims were invalid for obviousness. The Federal Court of Appeal has now upheld the finding of obviousness, dismissing Millennium Pharmaceuticals' and Janssen's appeal.
The Patented Medicines Prices Review Board recently released new draft guidelines for consultation and a backgrounder. The new guidelines aim to operationalise the amended Patented Medicines Regulations, which come into force on 1 July 2020, and provide a number of circumstances in which categories or price ceilings may be reassessed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.