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Head of Canada’s drug price regulator resigns same week as colleague steps down


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The executive director of Canada’s drug pricing regulator is stepping down — just days after another member resigned because of concerns that the federal government was undermining the regulator’s work.

Douglas Clark, executive director of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, announced today he will be leaving his post after almost a decade with the regulator.

On Thursday, Matthew Herder, a professor of health law at Dalhousie University, announced he had resigned from the board, accusing the federal government of failing to implement critically important reforms that would lower the cost of medication.

Herder said in his resignation letter addressed to federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos that he is stepping down because he no longer believes it is possible to serve the public good in this role, which he had held since 2018.

Herder responded today on social media to news of Clark’s resignation, calling it an immense and irreplaceable loss.

Clark has agreed to remain with the board as a special adviser for an unspecified amount of time, and the board says work to appoint Clark’s successor will be launched soon.

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board regulates the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.

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