Alexion Pharmaceuticals has filed a motion in Federal Court, arguing that the federal government has no authority to force the company to lower the cost of Soliris, a drug that helps treat two life-threatening blood disorders. A course of treatment with the drug costs upwards of $700,000 per patient, per year. Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, which ensures the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive, has determined that Alexion has been charging too much for Soliris over the last three years. It alleges the price for the drug is higher than in the United States, where it costs about $30,000 a year less. Alexion argues that the board should not exist at all and that Parliament “overstepped its constitutional authority when it gave the board the power to regulate drug prices.”
Should the Canadian government have the right to control drug prices?