The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance

April 2016 Update:

On April 1, 2016, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) issued the First Principles for Subsequent Entry Biologics (SEBs) to guide negotiations and inform expectations.

February 2016 Update:

All 13 Provinces and Territories have been working together to achieve greater value for brand name and generic drugs for publicly funded drug programs. These initiatives, formerly known as the Pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance and the Generic Value Price Initiative, are now referenced collectively as the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). Nova Scotia is currently co-leading with Saskatchewan on the generic drugs initiative and with Ontario on the brand name drugs initiative.

We are pleased to announce that the Federal Drug Plans are now participating in the pCPA. We look forward to their involvement in both Brand and Generic efforts by the pCPA.

An Office with dedicated staff to support the work of the pCPA is being hosted in Ontario. The decision to establish an Office of the pCPA (Office) was informed by the work completed by IBM Canada Ltd based on a review of international best practices and broad consultation with both internal and external stakeholders. The report is titled “Pan Canadian Drugs Negotiation Report” (Report) and can be found at the bottom of this page.

Following significant work to formalize its structure and launch, the new Office is operational as of September 2015 - located in Toronto at 900 Bay Street on the 2nd floor of the Hepburn Block. The full Office team is now in place:

Imran Ali (Senior Manager)
Anchalee Srisombun (Senior Negotiator)
Sang Mi Lee (Senior Pharmacist)
Karleen Jung (Senior Economist)
Nessa Podkoscielny (Negotiations Consultant)

The transition team (ON, NS and SK) have been leading the development of guiding principles and phased implementation of the mandate to ensure the Office achieves its mission.

Consistent with our commitment to keep the sector and our various stakeholder groups apprised of progress, the co-lead jurisdictions hosted two stakeholder sessions on June 16, 2015 one for patient and caregiver groups and the other for the pharmaceutical sector. These sessions were well attended and provided an opportunity for both an update to be provided and for input into the ongoing work. These sessions were captured through webcast and are available for viewing through the following links:

Patient & caregiver session webcast link:

Industry session webcast link:

PDF versions of the slide decks presented at these sessions are also available and can be found at the bottom of this page.


Brand Name drugs
Established in August 2010, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), formerly the pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance, is part of work underway by the Council of the Federation’s Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG).

The pCPA conducts joint provincial/territorial negotiations for brand name drugs in Canada to achieve greater value for publicly funded drug programs and patients. All brand name drugs coming forward for funding through the national review processes Common Drug Review (CDR) or Pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) are considered for negotiation through the pCPA.

For information on how the pCPA fits into the current process for drug approval in Canada, click here.

Generic drugs
As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of drugs, on January 18, 2013, the HCIWG announced the first step in achieving better value for generic drugs through the Value Price Initiative. This joint approach leverages combined purchasing power to obtain the lowest generic prices achieved to date in Canada, and to be consistent with the price for these drugs on the international market.

Effective April 1, 2013, the first phase of work established a price point for six of the most common drugs at 18% of the equivalent brand name product:

  • Atorvastatin
  • Ramipril
  • Venlafaxine
  • Amlodipine
  • Omeprazole
  • Rabeprazole

Effective April 1, 2014, four products were priced at 18% of the equivalent brand name product:

  • Rosuvastatin
  • Pantoprazole
  • Citalopram
  • Simvastatin

Effective April 1, 2015, another four products were priced at 18% of the equivalent brand name product:

  • Clopidogrel
  • Gabapentin
  • Metformin
  • Olanzapine

Effective April 1, 2016, another four products were priced at 18% of the equivalent brand name product:

  • Donepezil HCl
  • Ezetimibe
  • Quetiapine
  • Zopiclone

Effective April 1, 2017, a one-year bridging period for the pCPA Generics Initiative is in place. The bridging arrangement will result in additional savings and allow time for the evaluation of the current Generics Initiative, as well as explore next steps. Under the bridging arrangement, the price of the following molecules will be further reduced from 18% to 15% of the brand reference price:

  • Atorvastatin
  • Amlodipine
  • Simvastatin
  • Pantoprazole
  • Ramipril
  • Clopidogrel

Effective April 1, 2018, nearly 70 of the most commonly prescribed drugs in Canada are priced at either 10% or 18% of the equivalent brand name product.

10% Oral Solid

  • Amlodipine
  • Atorvastatin
  • Citalopram
  • Clopidogrel
  • Donepezil
  • Ezetimibe
  • Gabapentin
  • Metformin
  • Olanzapine
  • Olanzapine ODT
  • Omeprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Quetiapine
  • Rabeprazole EC
  • Ramipril
  • Ranitidine
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Simvastatin
  • Venlafaxine XR
  • Zopiclone

18% Oral Solid

  • Alendronate
  • Almotriptan
  • Amiodarone
  • Anastrozole
  • Atenolol
  • Atomoxetine
  • Azithromycin
  • Bicalutamide
  • Bisoprolol
  • Candesartan
  • Candesartan HCTZ
  • Carvedilol
  • Celecoxib
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Clonazepam
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Domperidone
  • Dutasteride
  • Eletriptan
  • Escitalopram
  • Famciclovir
  • Finasteride
  • Fluoxetine
  • Imatinib
  • Irbesartan
  • Irbesartan HCTZ
  • Lamotrigine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Memantine
  • Minocycline
  • Montelukast
  • Mycophenolate
  • Paroxetine
  • Pramipexole
  • Pravastatin
  • Pregabalin
  • Risedronate
  • Risperidone
  • Sertraline
  • Solifenacin
  • Sumatriptan DF
  • Telmisartan
  • Telmisartan HCTZ
  • Terbinafine
  • Topiramate
  • Valacyclovir
  • Valsartan
  • Valsartan HCTZ

For more detail on this initiative, please refer to the information on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website:

Benefits to Canadians
By capitalizing on the combined negotiating power of drug plans across multiple provinces and territories, the pCPA aims to:

  • increase access to drug treatment options;
  • achieve lower drug costs and consistent pricing, and
  • improve consistency of coverage criteria across Canada.

As of April 1, 2016, these collaborative efforts between provinces and territories have resulted in 95 completed joint negotiations on brand name drugs and price reductions on 18 generic drugs. This has resulted in an estimated $712 million in combined savings annually. As of March 31, 2017, the pCPA's efforts have led to a $1.28 billion a year in estimated combined jurisdictional savings.

Status of Negotiations on Brand Name Drugs

The following tables provide information on:

Click here for previous tables.


Patient & Caregiver session slide deck Industry session slide deck June 2015

IBM Report Pan Canadian Drugs Negotiations Report

Appendices 3-6 March 2014

For more information please contact: