Everyone wants affordable medicine, but are Canadians prepared to accept the trade-off of even longer delays before we can access innovative drugs?

Last May, then-federal health minister Jane Philpott announced proposed changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board designed β€œto protect Canadians from excessive drug prices.”

The review board is an independent federal organization that, for 30 years, has struck a balance between ensuring Canadian prices for patented medicines are not excessive, while recognizing the importance of pharmaceutical innovation by allowing companies to recoup the immense cost of the research and development of new drugs.

During the short consultation period allowed by Health Canada, individuals, pharmaceutical companies and patient groups expressed a range of opinions and concerns about the proposals. In particular, patients are worried that access to new drugs will be even more restricted.

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