Canadian Drug Watchdog Orders Alexion to Lower Price of Soliris, Refund Overcharges

September 29, 2017

Rare Daily Staff

A Patented Medicine Prices Review Board Hearing Panel found Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ rare disease drug Soliris pricing was excessive and ordered the company to lower the price and refund still-to-be-determined past overcharges.

Alexion was ordered to charge no more than the than the lowest price paid in seven comparator countries set out in the nation’s Patented Medicines Regulations (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

Alexion, in a statement to the CBCNews, said it strongly disagreed with the ruling and would seek a judicial review.

Soliris is used to treat ultra-rare disorders paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, life-threating disorders where the immune system attacks red blood cells. The drug, which is dosed based on the weight of the patient, can cost as much as $700,000 a year according to CBCNews.

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is an independent quasi-judicial body that protects the interests of Canadian consumers by ensuring the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive, and provides stakeholders with price, cost, and utilization information to help them make timely and knowledgeable drug pricing, purchasing, and reimbursement decisions.

According to the public version of the ruling the board issued, the board’s staff filed allegations against Alexion on January 15, 2015 alleging that the price of Soliris was excessive between 2012 and 2014, and sought an order from the panel requiring the reduce the price and repay more than $4.5 million ($5.6 million Canadian) in overcharges. 

September 29, 2017

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