Mr. Chair, maybe I would just update and remind the committee that we have been discussing proposals for the modernization of the patented medicine regulations now for about the last two years or so. There was a regulatory proposal that the government tabled a number of months ago that went to Canada Gazette, part 1.
There are two parts to this: There's the updating of the patented medicine regulations themselves, and then there are the guidelines that give effect to the regulations, so there are two pieces. There are discussions going on, not just with the industry but also with the patient groups, provinces and territories and other stakeholders in the health system about both of those tracks.
On the regulations, we've had a number of meetings with the pharmaceutical industry and with others, as we have on the development of the detailed guidelines. The development of the detailed guidelines is being undertaken by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board itself, because that's a kind of technical conversation. A decision on when to proceed and next steps will be a decision the government will make, but we continue to discuss with stakeholders the kind of next steps on that proposal. There is a detailed regulatory proposal on the table on which we're in an active conversation now with all of the various stakeholders.
With regard to the guidelines, even when the regulations proceed, the guidelines will actually be a number of months later. That's a conversation that will likely unfold over the next year regardless.
I would just let members know that this is something that's in process now, and there's a fair degree of detail. I can certainly share with the committee a copy of the discussion paper the government issued about a year ago, and the draft regulatory proposal.