Pangaea Express: BC Introduces Health Sector Payment Transparency Plans

June 25, 2018

BC has announced their intention to implement a Health Sector Payment Transparency Program of its own. The province’s goals are to provide patients with “access to information to help them make informed decisions about their health care” and to identify and prevent “potential inappropriate influences on clinical decision making, purchases, education or research”. Similar to Ontario, the Ministry is looking at defining a Payor as any person or group that:

  • Fabricates, packages, labels, distributes, imports or wholesales a drug or medical device as licensed by Health Canada;
  • Promotes a drug or medical device on behalf of a person or group included above (e.g., marketing or advertising firm); and
  • Organizes continuing education events for designated recipients on behalf of a manufacturer (e.g., event planner, educational institution, professional association).

A recipient would be anyone with the ability to prescribe or select a drug or medical device as well as any “person or group that engages in education, research, or advocacy with respect to drugs and medical devices.”

Before drafting these policies, the BC Ministry is reaching out to various stakeholders to consult on the framework for the program. They want to better understand the benefits and possible downside of such a Transparency Program (affects on education, research and training), as well as to open dialogue on topics such as the definition of “Payor” or how the Ministry should make use of this Transfers of Value information.

Many are still calling on the Feds to implement national transparency legislation, and while Canada is consulting with other jurisdictions on their transparency programs, they are not committing to any national program yet. As for Ontario, because the legislation was never finalized before the Liberals lost power, it is not certain how the PC party will continue in their predecessor’s efforts.

We would be surprised if Ontario chose to scrap the legislation since transparency measures are gaining momentum across the country, but it is likely that the timing and scope of the legislation will be modified.

For more information, please contact Marla Weingarten at mweingarten@pangaea-consultants.com, Consultant, The Pangaea Group.