TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Jim Keon, President of the Canadian
Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), issued the following
statement regarding today's announcement by Prime Minister Harper and
President Barroso of an Agreement in Principle in the negotiations for
a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA):
"The Pharmaceutical intellectual property provisions announced in
today's Agreement in Principle fall short of the European Commission's
original unnecessary demands on behalf of brand-name drug companies but
will still delay market entry of cost-saving generic prescription
medicines in Canada in the future, increasing health-care costs for
provinces, employers that sponsor drug plans for their employess and
Canadians who pay for their prescription medicines out-of-pocket.
The full cost to Canadians of the actual delays in generic drug
competition resulting from the new measures will depend on the specific
manner in which they are implemented by the Government of Canada.
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association is, however, pleased
that the Government of Canada has also made commitments for additional
safeguards and reforms to Canada's pharmaceutical intellectual property
regime to provide greater business certainty for Canadian generic
pharmaceutical manufacturers. These commitments are outlined by
International Trade Minister Ed Fast in a letter to CGPA.
CGPA has received written assurances from the Government of Canada that
its implementation of the "Right of Appeal" treaty commitment will also
address excessive and duplicative litigation by ending the practice of
dual litigation. CGPA has advocated for such reforms to Canada's
pharmaceutical patent linkage system for several years.
Currently, Canada is the only country that allows brand-name
pharmaceutical companies to sue generic pharmaceutical companies
multiple times on the same patents, adding to the costs and risks of
bringing generic drug competition to the Canadian market. While the
specific implementation details will be crucial to the success of these
critical reforms, CGPA welcomes the Government of Canada's commitment
to reduce the burden on the courts, bring earlier finality to
pharmaceutical patent disputes and deliver greater business certainty
for generic pharmaceutical companies in Canada.
If implemented correctly, the reforms to end dual litigation will help
protect Canadian consumers by ensuring invalid or non-infringed patents
do not prevent cost-saving competition from coming to market.
CGPA is disappointed by the inclusion of a patent term extension in
CETA, but welcomes the Government of Canada's commitment to cap the
maximum length of extension at two years and include other essential
CETA also sets an international precedent as the first trade agreement
that permits an exception under the period of patent extension for the
production and other activities related to the export of generic
CGPA commends the Government of Canada for recognizing the importance of
generic pharmaceutical manufacturing to the domestic economy. Canada is
home to an internationally significant cluster of generic
pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Toronto and Montreal, which
export high quality made-in-Canada generic medicines to 115 countries
around the globe.
The generic pharmaceutical industry operates most of the pharmaceutical
manufacturing in Canada, and timely access to export markets is
critical to the sustainability of its domestic operations and the
industry's 12,000 high quality jobs.
CGPA is also pleased that CETA will not impose changes to the domestic
data protection regime, but is disappointed that Canada's treaty
obligations have been extended by three years to reflect current
CGPA looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada
for the successful conclusion of the CETA agreement and for the
implementation of the reforms the Government of Canada has committed to
in support of the continued international competitiveness of the
domestic generic pharmaceutical industry."
About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents
Canada's generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an
important role in controlling health-care costs in Canada. Generic
drugs are dispensed to fill 65 per cent of all prescriptions but
account for account for only 24 per cent of the $22-billion Canadians
spend annually on prescription medicines.
SOURCE: Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
For further information:
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Mobile: (647) 274-3379