Health Canada postpones overhaul of drug pricing for 6 months

Health Canada says it's delaying its long-awaited overhaul of drug pricing regulations.

Changes meant to bring down price of prescription drugs pushed to July 1, 2021

Pharmaceutical manufacturers welcomed the delay in introducing reforms to how the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board calculates prescription drug prices. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Health Canada says it's delaying its long-awaited overhaul of drug pricing regulations.

It will move to July 1 instead of this January.

While pharmaceutical manufacturers and patient advocates welcomed the decision, they say the federal government needs to go back to the drawing board for Canada to stay competitive in the global marketplace for medical innovation.

A Health Canada spokesman confirmed to The Canadian Press that the rollout of regulatory changes has been postponed.

A spokesman says the delay is intended to give pharmaceutical companies more time to adjust to new reporting requirements while dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The postponement marks the latest setback in the years-long battle over the federal plan to recalibrate how the arm's-length Patented Medicine Prices Review Board calculates fair drug prices.

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