Photo © Courtesy of Canadian Animal Health Institute
Health Canada recently began increasing regulatory fees for veterinary medicine companies to register and maintain market access for their products. Fees will go up by as much as 500% over the next seven years. As a result, Canada could face a loss of, or significant price increases for, up to 90% of the products currently available to veterinarians and animal owners, because these fee increases do not reflect the realities of the Canadian market for animal medicines. In addition, veterinary products available in other countries will be less likely to be licensed for sale here. This will have serious and unintended consequences that will affect the welfare of animals across Canada.
Getting a veterinary medicine to market is not a simple undertaking; it can take over a decade and cost more than $100 million. In order to remain viable on the market, product prices need to be accessible to Canadian animal owners and reflect the size of the Canadian animal population. Because we are a small market, there is a limited return on investment for companies. By comparison, the human pharmaceutical industry in Canada is 35 times larger than that for veterinary medicines, and also benefits from provincially funded drug plans to help patients with drug costs.
For pet owners, the increased fees will ultimately mean their animals develop more health issues that could have been otherwise prevented or treated. For farmers and ranchers, they will mean a competitive disadvantage in global markets. For veterinarians, they will mean a limited ability to practice modern medicine, having fewer product choices for prevention and treatment, and possibly higher rates of euthanasia.
CAHI will continue to advocate for continued access to innovative products to ensure life-saving medications are available to animals. We encourage animal owners to continue to work with their veterinarian to determine the best practices and medications to promote animal health and welfare.
To learn more or get involved in our #KeepAnimalsHealthy campaign, visit: CAHI-ICSA.CA/SERVICE-FEES
Representing the manufacturers and distributors of the medications that keep animals healthy.