Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Supreme Court of Canada denies Alexion leave to appeal in case challenging constitutionality of PMPRB remedial powers

On June 28, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ application for leave to appeal a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) that dismissed its challenge to the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Patent Act relating to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB)’s remedial powers: SCC Case No. 37949. The FCA decision, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc v Canada (Attorney General), 2017 FCA 241, was previously reported here.

Tobacco companies cannot compel production of health records in British Columbia’s lawsuits to recover health care costs related to tobacco exposure

The province of British Columbia (BC) brought an action against Philip Morris International and other tobacco manufacturers to recover health care costs related to treatment of diseases caused or contributed to by exposure to a tobacco product, pursuant to the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act (Act). The constitutionality of the Act had previously been upheld: British Columbia v Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd, 2005 SCC 49. On July 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) held that BC could not be compelled to produce a collection of anonymized health care databases that the province intended to use to prove causation and damages: British Columbia v Philip Morris International, Inc, 2018 SCC 36.  The SCC held that the anonymized databases fell within the scope of a subsection of the Act that excluded from production “health care records and documents of particular individual insured persons or the documents relating to the provision of health care benefits for particular individual insured persons”.