Through collective negotiations, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance has realized overall savings (as of March 31, 2019) of $1.52 billion annually for brand name drugs and $0.74 billion annually for generic drugs totalling $2.26 billion in annualized savings.
The pCPA was originally established as the pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance in August 2010. It was created by the premiers of Canada though the Council of the Federation’s Health Care Innovation Working Group. The aim was to achieve greater value for publicly funded drug programs and patients through the combined negotiating power of participating jurisdictions.
In 2015, the alliance was formalized with the new name pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a mandate and objectives were developed, a governance structure was implemented, and an office was created to provide support to the member jurisdictions. Also, in 2015, Quebec joined the alliance and in 2016, the federal drug plans joined.
pCPA member jurisdictions include public drug plan participation from: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB), Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)
Mandate and Objective
The pCPA’s mandate is to enhance patient access to clinically relevant and cost-effective drug treatment options. It serves this mandate by conducting collective, expert-informed, negotiations for drugs.
By capitalizing on the combined negotiating power of drug plans across multiple provinces and territories, the pCPA objectives are to:
- increase access to clinically effective and cost-effective drug treatment options;
- achieve consistent and lower drug costs for participating jurisdictions;
- reduce duplication of effort and improve use of resources; and
- improve consistency of decisions among participating jurisdictions.
Where pCPA fits in the Canadian Drug Review and Approval Process
pCPA is one part of the overall Canadian drug approval and reimbursement process.
*Please note that the figure above is a simplified illustration of the process and there can be exceptions.
Health Canada reviews drugs for safety, efficacy and quality before authorizing them for sale in Canada.
CADTH & INESSS
In Canada there are two health technology assessment organizations which review the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a drug product; the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and in Quebec, l’Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). CADTH and INESSS provide a recommendation to public drug plans on whether or not a drug should be reimbursed for public funding.
The pCPA negotiation process begins for the majority of new drugs, once a recommendation is published by CADTH and/or INESSS. pCPA uses the recommendations from CADTH and INESSS and other factors to determine whether or not it will enter into a negotiation for a drug. Following a successful negotiation, pCPA will issue a letter of intent which sets the terms of the agreement between pCPA and the drug manufacturer.
Public Drug Plans
Public Drug Plans make a final decision to fund a drug once a negotiation has been successfully completed and enters into its own separate agreement with the drug manufacturer.
The pCPA office is hosted and staffed through Ontario and works closely with the jurisdictions providing support in negotiations, administration, communications, standardization, analytics, process design, and policy related to brand and generic products.
Sang Mi Lee
Position to be filled
|Senior Program Analyst:||
|Senior Communications Advisor:||
Joanne Woodward Fraser