Budget 2018 introduces pricing pressures for pharmaceutical companies
As part of the 2018 Federal Budget, the Minister of Finance announced that an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare will be tasked with studying access to pharmacare nationally. The announcement came as part of the government’s effort to provide Canadians with access to affordable prescription medication across the country through the adoption of a national pharmacare plan.
The topic of a national pharmacare plan has been ongoing with much debate as approximately 3.5 million Canadians lack basic drug coverage. While the public argues for regulated drug pricing, Canadian drug manufacturers voice concerns over cost cutting measures that will negatively impact research and development, and long term sustainability.
While the program represents savings for patients and the government, it may present challenges for the pharma companies themselves as they will now be facing price negotiations with fewer payers.
Pharmaceutical companies will continue to have to re-evaluate their product portfolios as well as their cost structures to remain competitive in a lower-margin environment.