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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Most interlocutory decisions under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) (PMNOC) Regulations are made by prothonotaries of the Federal Court. The first Federal Court of Appeal decision in an appeal of an interlocutory order under the amended PMNOC Regulations was recently issued. The court found that the prothonotary had been entitled to arrive at a view of what was best for the particular proceeding and saw no reviewable error that would justify its intervention.
The Federal Court of Appeal recently granted the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB's) appeal and returned to the board the matter of whether the invention of the patent at hand pertained to Galderma's Differin. The court addressed several issues, including whether the PMPRB had acted unreasonably in limiting its review of the patent to selected portions.
The Federal Court recently struck Novo Nordisk's judicial review application challenging the minster of health's decision to accept for review an abbreviated new drug submission filed by Teva Canada. In striking the application, the court concluded that Novo Nordisk had neither direct nor public interest standing in the matter.
The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recently reported changes to transition Cancer Drug Implementation Advisory Committee functions to the CADTH pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review process. Among other things, the changes aim to enhance the transparency of the pan-Canadian cancer drug review process and allow for greater stakeholder input into the development of a provisional algorithm for each new cancer drug or indication.
The first half of 2019 has seen a number of changes to life sciences IP and regulatory law, including the proposed amendments to the Food and Drugs Act. In addition, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its final report, which recommends that Canada implement a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare programme by enacting new legislation and proceeding in a stepwise approach to implementation.
The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) recently published the 2018 edition of the Meds Pipeline Monitor – a horizon-scanning report which provides a snapshot of the new drug landscape. The PMPRB report considered the 733 medicines that are currently in Phase III clinical trials or pre-registration and identified 30 that have the potential to address an unmet need, offer an improvement over existing therapies and treat serious conditions.
The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Food and Drugs Act (Post-market Surveillance of Medical Devices) were recently pre-published. These proposed changes were made in accordance with Vanessa's Law. The proposed regulations would implement changes to the Food and Drug Regulations and Medical Devices Regulations and (among other things) establish a regulatory framework to require assessments, tests and studies of medical devices.
The minister of health recently published the final report from the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The council has recommended that Canada implement universal, single-payer, public pharmacare by enacting new legislation and proceeding in a stepwise approach to implementation.
The Federal Court recently dismissed Alexion's application for judicial review of a Patented Medicines Price Review Board (PMPRB) panel's decision that Soliris (eculizumab) had been sold at an excessive price and its order fixing the amount of the payment to offset excess revenues (C$4.2 million). The application was dismissed on the grounds that, among other things, the PMPRB had not been unreasonable in ordering payment of excess revenues based on the highest international price comparison.