OTTAWA, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams,
President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), on the release of a report by generic drug makers entitled The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement-An
Economic Impact Assessment of Proposed Pharmaceutical Intellectual
"This flawed report which is based on conjecture and questionable
assumptions should not derail Canada's efforts to improve trade with
Europe and strengthen intellectual property (IP) rights that will open
the doors to innovation and bring more high quality jobs and investment
"Having weaker intellectual property protection than our global
competitors is not an effective way to control health costs but will
have negative consequences for Canada in reduced jobs and investment in
the knowledge economy.
"As well, the study provides no estimates on the savings from new
medicines and vaccines in preventing disease and saving lives while
also reducing the cost of hospitalization and surgery.
"There is also a serious cost to Canadians of not acting to become more
competitive internationally. The Europeans have stronger IP protection
than Canada and they still manage to provide better access to new
innovative medicines. They see the value of creating a knowledge
economy and they want to be the first to develop new drugs to treat
cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases. Canada should be striving for
"It's also hypocritical for the generics to raise the issue of drug
pricing given that several independent studies have found that
Canadians have been paying among the highest prices in the world for
their generic drugs for many years.
"The study also includes four widely prescribed drugs that are already
off patent but makes no mention of the investment required to develop a
new medicine or vaccine which can often cost up to $1 billion and take
10 to 12 years.
"Canada is lagging behind Europe and the United States when it comes to
intellectual property safeguards as demonstrated in the recent report
from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce- Innovation for a Better Tomorrow: Closing Canada's Intellectual
Property Gap. An earlier report by the Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada
reached the same conclusion.
"Historically, generic companies have consistently attempted to thwart
Canada's progress to have globally competitive intellectual property
"A joint Canada-EU study recently estimated that an economic agreement
with the EU has the potential to give a "$12-billion boost to the Canadian economy and increase bilateral trade
by over 20 percent." Our commitment is to work with governments so that Canada can capture
these investments and become a world leader in innovation."
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 (RX
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