OTTAWA, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - In a submission to the federal government today,
Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry has outlined concrete
measures aimed at improving productivity and attracting more
much-needed pharmaceutical and life sciences investment to Canada.
"Our industry is committed to working with governments at all levels to
increase investment and create more high quality jobs in the
pharmaceutical and life sciences sector," says Russell Williams, the
President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).
"With the right policy tools in place, we can bridge the innovation gap
and make Canada a global player in the knowledge economy."
The Rx&D submission to the Expert Review Panel on Research and
Development chaired by Thomas Jenkins says that rather than handing out
subsidies, the federal government can reverse the trend of declining
global pharmaceutical investment in Canada by taking bold policy action
in several areas. These include strengthened intellectual property (IP)
rights, regulatory modernization and the public procurement of
innovative medicines and vaccines. The submission also calls for
improvements to the Federal Scientific Research and Experimental
Development (SR&ED) tax credit to spark additional commercialization of
new products in Canada. Currently, significant levels of industry
investment are not being recognized or accepted under SR&ED.
In order to keep pace with increased global competition and position
Canada to maintain its leadership in life sciences, an updated federal
R&D policy also needs to recognize and build on the catalytic role Rx&D
member companies play in building sophisticated networks and
partnerships among a wide range of Canadian public and private
organizations and entities.
There is as much as $100 billion available in R&D funding for life
sciences globally each year and Rx&D member companies want to attract
more investment and research to Canada.
With an emphasis on public policy over fiscal incentives and tax
support, Rx&D's recommendations are practical and achievable for Canada
given the fiscal challenges facing governments at all levels. The
Strengthening the protection of intellectual property, including an
effective right of appeal for innovators within Canada's drug patent
Implementing a data protection regime competitive with other industrial
economies while also providing for a system of patent term restoration.
Modernizing Health Canada's regulatory review process to improve its
performance, to better align with those in the United States and
Europe. A submission to Health Canada takes an average of 390 days,
compared to 350 days in the U.S. and 275 days in European Community
Expanding the scope of the SR&ED tax credit to help reverse the trend of
declining international investment in clinical research and trials. In
2009, Rx&D companies invested $950 million or 78% of their research and
development spending on clinical research.
Over the past five years Canada has been losing clinical trials and
other research investments to countries other developed nations and
emerging economies like China and India because they have developed
integrated policies to attract global investments.
"Our members are working every day to win investments for Canada," said
Mr. Williams. "Our challenge now is to summon the political will to
build on our strong record of success and position Canada to sustain
and grow its Life Sciences R&D into the future."
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 15,000 men and women working for 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
SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies
For further information:
For more information about the Rx&D brief, please visit www.canadapharma.org.