Canada’s Drug Price Agency has ordered Horizon Pharma to cut the price of one of the pharmaceutical company’s drugs.
The drug, Procysbi is prescribed to treat nephropathic cystinosis, a rare genetic disease in children that can destroy the kidneys.
The Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) this week, ruled that the price of Procysbi “was and is excessive.”
A statement from the panel read,
“A Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) Hearing Panel issued its decision relating to the medicine Procysbi, manufactured and marketed in Canada by Horizon Pharma. The Panel has found that the price of Procysbi was and is excessive under section 83 and 85 of the Patent Act. The Panel has ordered Horizon to pay to His Majesty in right of Canada an amount calculated by the Parties and approved by the Panel. The Hearing Panel has also ordered Horizon to lower the price of Procysbi in Canada to no higher than the Maximum Potential Price prescribed by the Moderate Improvement Test applied by the Panel in its decision.”
The PMPRB is an independent quasi-judicial body with a regulatory mandate to protect the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive.
According to patients, the drug’s annual price skyrocketed around 3,000% in 2018, from about $10,000 to over $300,000.
“We need to consider more generally whether or not the prices of some of these new drugs are really justified,” said Dr. Joel Lexchin, a professor at York University.
“When you’re getting into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the drug, however the drug companies justify those, ask them to open up their books and show us the figures that mean they need to charge this much for the drug.”
When asked if the company plans to appeal the decision, a spokesperson for Horizon Pharma explained that the manufacturer had no intention to do so.
“We believe it is best to move forward without additional litigation” spokesperson Amanda Phraner said.