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Matthew Herder Resigns from Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

Posted by nte on February 24, 2023 in In Action
Photo credit: Global News
Photo credit: Global News

On 20 Feb 2023, Matthew Herder resigned from the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board for reasons explained in this letter.

Dear Minister Duclos,

It has been a privilege to serve as a member of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board since 2018. In view of recent events, in particular, the lack of support from your office and the government, I no longer believe it is possible to serve the public good in this role. I must regretfully resign.

It is important to provide context for my decision.

Prior to the creation of the PMPRB, Canadians enjoyed access to relatively affordable medicines through a robust system of compulsory licensing and generic drug manufacturing.[1] In 1987, Canada reformed its patent laws in an effort to satisfy its major trading partners while also encouraging the brandname pharmaceutical industry to finance more drug research and development (R&D) in the country. Industry, in turn, promised to spend 10% of its sales on R&D in Canada. At the same time, the PMPRB was given a mandate by Parliament to protect consumers from “excessive” drug prices.[2]

In the 35 years that have followed none of these objectives has been achieved. Read more here...

[1] Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Pharmaceutical Industry (Eastman Commission), by Government of Canada (1985).

[2] Celgene Corp v Canada (Attorney General), [2011] 1 SCR 3.


For further background reading of the news story, read:

Cooke, A. (23 Feb 2023). Member of Canada's drug pricing regulator quits over 'lack of support' for medicine cost reforms. Global News.