Vancouver, BC - TheraPsil, a non-profit and training organization dedicated to legalizing access to psilocybin therapy for patients in medical need, expresses grave concern over recent allegations of Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos interfering with the work of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), which has been engaged in a multi-year effort to implement changes aimed at curbing the rising cost of branded drugs.
The allegations against Minister Duclos, which involve his request to suspend consultations on guidelines that would lower the price of pharmaceutical drugs, are particularly concerning in the context of Canada's goal to legalize psilocybin for patients in medical need.
The Health Minister is currently facing two legal cases seeking to establish compassionate use of psilocybin, raising questions about his ability to make decisions that prioritize patient needs.
TheraPsil CEO & President Spencer Hawkswell had this to say:
“I am deeply concerned about Health Minister Duclos' interference in the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, as the Minister's policies appear to be benefitting pharmaceutical companies at the expense of Canadian patients. An area where this pattern is particularly troubling is in the effort to make psilocybin medically available. There is overwhelming evidence of psilocybin's potential benefits for patients, yet Minister Duclos has completely ignored recommendations from doctors, patients, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, and even experts from within Health Canada on their suggestions to increase psilocybin access. Instead, he appears to be giving a voice to pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Canada’s drugs are among the most expensive globally, and it seems like we now know why. If the Health Minister continues to restrict access to relatively affordable treatments like psilocybin, Canadian patients will be forced to pay tens of thousands for psilocybin from big pharmaceutical companies. This is unacceptable and Minister Duclos needs to take immediate action. He should listen to the recommendations of experts, patients and his own Health Ministry and work to increase safe access to effective treatments like psilocybin. Isn't it time for the Minister to do the right thing and prioritize the needs of patients over the interests of big pharma?”
TheraPsil is committed to advocating for patient access to safe and effective treatments, and the delay in implementing PMPRB changes may have serious consequences for patients who need affordable access to life-saving medications. As a non-profit organization that supports patients seeking psilocybin therapy, TheraPsil understands firsthand the challenges faced by patients who are unable to access legal treatment options.
Human rights lawyer Nicholas Pope is currently litigating two separate cases against Minister Duclos on behalf of patients and healthcare professionals seeking access to psilocybin. He says:
“The Minister has persistently disregarded the recommendations of patients, doctors, and experts about the need for increased access to psilocybin. This disregard has forced us to turn to the courts. The government’s actions and failures to act in these cases contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have extended invitations to the Minister to help resolve these issues to no avail.”
TheraPsil is committed to advocating for patient access to safe and effective treatments and will continue to monitor developments in this area closely.
For media inquiries, please contact:
John Gilchrist, TheraPsil Communications Specialist
All other inquiries
Spencer Hawkswell, CEO, TheraPsil
TheraPsil is a non-profit and training organization dedicated to legalizing access to psilocybin therapy for patients in medical need. Founded in 2019, TheraPsil is committed to advocating for the legal access of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and supporting training, research, and clinical services in this area. For more information, visit www.therapsil.ca