Ottawa, ON — Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) released the following statement after the Liberals shut down a meeting studying the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB):
“This week, the Liberals desperately shut down a House of Commons Health Committee to avoid damaging testimony that Liberal Health Minister, Jean Yves-Duclos, interfered with the independence of the drug pricing regulator in order to aid big pharmaceutical companies in keeping drug prices high for Canadians.
“The Health Committee heard shocking testimony from former members of the PMPRB, Professor Matthew Herder and Mr. Douglas Clark. They testified at length on how the Trudeau Liberals protected the needs of big pharmaceutical companies over the needs of Canadians. Mr. Clark and Mr. Herder told the committee about Minister Duclos’ desperate attempts to kill proposed regulations that would bring drug prices down and how his interference led to their resignations.
“After 8 years of Trudeau, Canadians are paying the third highest rates in the world for drugs, behind only the United States and Switzerland. Despite this, Minister Duclos refused to meet with the PMPRB even once to discuss changes in regulations that could address the sky-high drug prices Canadians are facing. Instead of meeting and listening to the watchdog of drug prices in Canada, Minister Duclos met with multinational big pharma lobbyists, not once, not twice, but 13 times.
“Once again, their actions raise into question whose side the Liberals are on – Canadians or their lobbyist friends. Just as the committee was getting to these important questions, including why Minister Duclos saw fit to meet 13 times with big pharma lobbyists while blocking and interfering with pricing regulators, Liberal members of the committee swiftly shut it down.
“What do they have to hide? Why the coverup?
“After 8 years of Trudeau’s scandals, we know that when the Liberals shut something down, there is more to see. The Liberals must come clean about why they interfered with the pricing of Canadians’ medicine and explain why they are putting the interests of big lobbyists above those of sick Canadians.”