Merck Canada says new drug price regulations are unconstitutional - (Financial Post via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Merck & Co.'s Canadian unit is among a group of drugmakers have argued that new drug price regulators that granted new powers to Canada's Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) are unconstitutional, as reported Financial Post Friday.

  • "Our position is that the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to regulate the prices of medicines and manage healthcare systems, which has always been provincial jurisdiction," Merck Canada said.

  • Under the new regulators, PMPRB will be able to consider cost-effectiveness, measured in quality-adjusted life years, in setting price caps for the first time.

  • Meanwhile, Innovative Medicines Canada has argued that lower prices would delay new drug launches, lower investment in life sciences and push new drug trials out of the country.

  • The news comes as the administration of US President Donald Trump has recently backed efforts to import drugs from Canada, while the administration has also sought to link prescription drug prices to those in other countries including Canada.

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