Canada Must Reject EU's Demands For Longer Market Monopolies
TORONTO, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - New data on research and development
spending in Canada by brand-name drug companies provides further proof
that there is no link between longer market monopolies and increased
investments. Demands for even longer monopolies in Canada must be
rejected, Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical
Association (CGPA) said today.
The latest annual report from the federal government's Patented Medicine
Prices Review Board (PMPRB) shows that in 2011, member companies of
Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) spent only 6.7
percent of their Canadian revenues on research and development in
Canada. This marks the ninth consecutive year that Rx&D member
companies have broken their promise to spend at least 10 percent of
their domestic sales on research and development.
The PMPRB also reports that total research and development expenditures
by member companies of Rx&D were lower in 2011 than in any year since
2000. Over the same period (2000-2011), sales revenues by Rx&D members
increased dramatically from $7.7-billion to $13.5-billion. Total
research and development spending by Rx&D members in 2011 declined by
9.9 percent from 2010.
The PMPRB's findings are highlighted in a new report released today by
CGPA. Copies of The Real Story: R&D Spending by Brand-Name Drug Companies in Canada: 1988 - 2011 are available at www.canadiangenerics.ca.
"No proven link exists between increased intellectual property
protection and increased Canadian R&D investments by brand-name
pharmaceutical companies," said Keon. "In Canada, market monopolies for
brand-name drug companies have increased eight times since 1987, yet
investments continue to decline, with R&D spending in Canada by
brand-name drug companies at its lowest level since 1988."
Canada and the European Union (EU) are currently negotiating a
comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA), which the federal
government hopes to conclude by the end of 2012. As part of these
negotiations, the EU has tabled proposals on behalf of brand-name drug
companies that would considerably lengthen the period of market
exclusivity for brand-name drugs in Canada.
A report by two of Canada's leading pharmaceutical policy researchers
estimates that the adoption of the EU's drug patent system proposals
would lengthen periods of market monopoly for brand-name drugs by an
average of 3.5 years and add approximately $2.8-billion annually to
Canadians' prescription drug bill.
Keon said that, as global players, Canada's generic pharmaceutical
industry is a strong advocate for enhanced trade, and supports efforts
by the Government of Canada to reduce barriers to trade. Fully 40
percent of the Canadian production of generic prescription drugs is for
export to more than 115 countries. Raw materials and other inputs are
sourced on the international market.
"These specific EU proposals are nothing more than an attempt at a cash
grab on the backs of hard-working Canadians," said Keon. "Extending
market monopolies for brand-name drugs will not reduce trade barriers.
It will, however, increase revenues for European-based drug companies
at the expense of Canada's health-care system. It will also increase
trade barriers for Canadian generic pharmaceutical manufacturers."
Keon pointed out that Canada's current intellectual property regime for
pharmaceuticals exceeds our international treaty obligations and
provides greater protections to brand-name drug companies than those
afforded any other industry in Canada.
According to a May 2011 report by Edward M. Iacobucci, the Osler Chair
in Business Law at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, Canada's
current intellectual property system for pharmaceuticals is already
stronger than that in any other industrial sector in Canada, and is in
many ways stronger than pharmaceutical intellectual property in the EU
and United States.
"Claims that further increasing Canada's high intellectual property
standards for pharmaceuticals would lead to more domestic research and
development ignore the realities of global research and development
investments by the brand-name pharmaceutical industry, which are
typically done near corporate headquarters in the EU or in emerging
markets that are not renowned for their intellectual property
protection," Keon said.
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 more than 60 per cent of all prescriptions but
account for only less than 24 percent of the $22-billion Canadians
spend annually on prescription medicines.
Image with caption: "TOTAL R&D EXPENDITURES AND R&D-TO-SALES RATIOS BY Rx&D MEMBERS - 1988 to 2011 (CNW Group/Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120627_C4206_PHOTO_EN_15726.jpg
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