Canadians Embrace Strong Intellectual Property Protection

More than three-quarters agree Intellectual Property standards should be at least the same as our major trading partners

OTTAWA, Sept. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - More than three-quarters of Canadians agree this country needs better or the same protection of intellectual property (IP) as our major trading partners, say figures from a Nanos Research survey conducted last week.

When asked whether Canada should have more, the same or less protection for IP as our major trading partners, more than 76% agreed Canada's IP regime should be at least the same or stronger.

"There is a significant majority of Canadians who expect a level of intellectual property protection that is equivalent or even greater than that of our key western trading partners like the United States or Europe," says Nik Nanos, President and CEO of Nanos Research. "It is also important to note that a very small minority, only 12.4%, of Canadians think we need less intellectual property protection. It is a clear signal that Canadians assign a significant level of value to intellectual property."

Improving Canada's pharmaceutical IP standards remains one outstanding issue to be concluded in the negotiations towards a landmark Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.

This opportunity for Canada would strengthen protections for intellectual property by harmonizing data protection to EU standards, allowing patent restoration for time lost while new medicines are in the government approval process and permitting an effective right of appeal in patent invalidity cases for research-based drug companies.

"The discovery and development of innovative new medicines and vaccines is fundamental to improving the health of Canadians, as well as ensuring Canada's health-care system is sustainable well into the future," says Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). "CETA offers us an opportunity to strengthen protections for health innovation so that we can attract international investment and encourage research and development right here at home, in Canada. It is clear Canadians understand the value of strong IP in improving health care and achieving economic growth."

"Most Canadians have experienced the transformative power of new medicines either first-hand or through someone they care about. They understand the value and want to ensure that health discovery and innovation continues," says Williams. "If we want to be part of it, we need the tools to win more life science investments for Canada. Stronger IP is an important tool."

The Nanos Research national representative online survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over was conducted between September 10th and 11th, 2012 and is an accurate representation of opinion at the time of the research.

About Rx&D
Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

For all questions related to the research please contact:

Nik Nanos, CMRP President & CEO Nanos Research
Telephone: 613-234-4666 ext. 237
E-mail: nnanos@nanosresearch.com

SOURCE: CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX&D)

For further information:

Shannon MacDonald
Vice President, Public Affairs & Partnerships
Telephone: 613-236-0455 ext. 627
E-mail: smacdonald@canadapharma.org