Bill 67 - Rx&D supports INESSS mission provided it recognizes the value of
pharmaceutical innovation in Quebec and encourages access to new medicines

QUEBEC CITY, Jan. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Upon presentation of its brief to the Commission des Affaires sociales today, Rx&D thanked the Quebec government for allowing the pharmaceutical research industry to express its point of view on Bill 67, aimed at creating the new Institut national d'excellence en santé et services sociaux (INESSS).

With regard to the creation, mission, and principles of INESSS, the association stresses that the new institute must ensure access to and optimal use of new medicines and recognize the value of pharmaceutical research and innovation.

"The creation of INESSS is an ideal opportunity to improve the processes that ensure access to and optimal use of medicines in Quebec," reads the Rx&D brief. "If the institute wants to maximize the benefits of medicines for Quebecers, it must have a mission, an approach, and, of course, resources that will help it continue to implement the global approach formally laid out by the Quebec government in its Prescription Drug Policy and its economic development strategies, which acknowledge the value of pharmaceutical research and innovation."

The scope of the mandate of the new institute - the result of a merger between the Conseil du médicament and the Agence d'évaluation en technologie de santé (AETMIS) - along with the vast social services sector added to its mission, raise certain concerns among Rx&D member companies.

"In the 21 recommendations we are presenting, we believe priority should be given to maintaining and improving the current operations of the Conseil du médicament and AETMIS before dedicating energy and resources to new aspects of the INESSS mission," says Rx&D President Russell Williams. "We're offering the government our full cooperation and that of our members so that implementation of INESSS is in the best interest of Quebec patients," concluded Claude Perron, Vice President and General Manager of Shire Canada Inc. and Chairman of Rx&D's Quebec Committee.

New medicines are among the most efficient ways to invest in our healthcare system. They replace surgeries, cut waiting lists, improve the quality of human life, and help people remain at home longer. They play a central role and meet a basic human need - the ability to enjoy life.

The pharmaceutical research industry also plays a prominent role in Quebec's economy, with Rx&D member companies numbering nearly 8,000 employees. With the presence of 28 international pharmaceutical companies, Quebec is home to the largest concentration of pharmaceutical headquarters in Canada, as well as the production and research activities of 12 of the 15 largest pharmaceutical groups in the world. Overall, the biopharmaceutical sector represents some 30,000 high-level jobs in the province. Quebec garners a huge portion (close to 45%) of research and development investment from Rx&D member companies, even though it represents less than 25% of Canada's population.

Since 1994, successive Quebec governments have fostered the growth of a dynamic and innovative pharmaceutical industry. This decision started with the creation of the 15 Year Rule and was reiterated in the Prescription Drug Policy in 2007 and the Quebec Biopharmaceutical Strategy unveiled in 2009. The creation of INESSS could help Quebec further stand out in this field.

About Rx&D

Rx&D is an association of leading research-based biopharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 18,000 men and women working for more than 50 member companies and invests over $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.

SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

For further information: For further information: François Lessard, Communications, Phone: (613) 236-0455, flessard@canadapharma.org

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

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