Exclusive: Facing crackdown in Canada, drugmakers offered billions in price cuts

February 6, 2019 – Allison Martell and Anna Mehler Paperny, Reuters

Canadian pharmaceutical industry lobby groups, in an effort to head off a planned crackdown on prescription drug prices, offered to give up C$8.6 billion ($6.6 billion) in revenue over 10 years, freeze prices or reduce the cost of treating rare diseases, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

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EXCLUSIVE-Canada budget to include limited coverage for prescription drugs -sources

January 31, 2019 –David Ljunggren and Anna Mehler Paperny, Reuters

Canada’s Liberal government will propose a limited expansion to the country’s universal healthcare system in the spring budget, to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The modest broadening of the healthcare program is set to become one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s key campaign promises ahead of the October election, which is shaping up to be a close fight.

The government would not commit to meeting 100 percent of the cost of prescription drugs for those who have no insurance through their workplace, the sources said. That suggests the government is leaning toward a narrower, more insurance industry-friendly model of pharmacare, as it is called, than that recommended by a government health committee last year.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined to comment.

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