New reports highlight health, economic benefits of new medicines

Economic Impact of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical sector exceeds $3-billion

OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Three new reports released today by Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) provide a combined snapshot of the enormous impact the discovery and development of innovative new medicines play in the lives of people across the country.

The reports—prepared independently by KPMG, RiskAnalytica and SECOR—were commissioned by Rx&D to get a firmer understanding of the health and economic benefits generated by research-based pharmaceutical companies in Canada. They contain the first new data set detailing the economic and social impact of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry in five years.

"Our investments help Canadians feel better and stay healthy, allowing them to keep working so they can continue to provide for their families and contribute to a more productive Canadian economy," said Rx&D President Russell Williams. "At the same time, these investments ease the burden on our healthcare system and ensure that safe, effective medical care is available when people need it."

Not only do these medicines save lives, prevent illness and ease chronic pain, the reports also detail a combined investment of more than $1 billion last year in research into innovative medicines, and a total contribution of at least $3 billion to Canada's economy.

Critical new findings delivered by the three reports include:

  • Canada's research-based pharmaceutical companies invested more than $1 billion last year in research into innovative new medicines.
  • This work contributes more than $3 billion to the Canadian economy and supports 46,000 well-paying jobs.
  • Since January 2011, pharmaceutical companies invested nearly $1.5 billion into research infrastructure across the country.
  • Last year product donations to patients through compassionate use and special access programs increased by 47%—to $133 million, up from $90 million.
  • Over 3,000 clinical trials are currently underway in Canada, which represents an investment of roughly $750 million into Canadian communities and provides patients and medical professionals access to new, potentially life-saving medications.
  • New therapies give Canadians increasingly customized care that meets their needs by using family history and details about individual habits and lifestyle to identify the most effective personalized treatment.

The three reports have been streamlined into one document that clearly outlines the current picture of research-based pharmaceutical companies' contributions to Canada. "Saving Lives - Transforming Care" is available at

"The discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines make great contributions to Canadian communities across the country. That's what drives Canada's research-based pharmaceutical industry to work in partnership with governments, Universities and the private sector to improve access to innovative medicines and strengthen healthcare," said the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

"Developing new medicines happens over many years, and requires millions of dollars in investment. It takes patience, skill and partnership. As a person with asthma, and spokesperson for The Asthma Society of Canada, the pay-off is worth it for the millions of Canadians who need more effective treatments. It is also good for the Canadian economy," says Rob Oliphant, CEO, the Asthma Society of Canada. "It's vital that Canada finds new and creative ways to foster the research and development environment required to attract and stimulate continued pharmaceutical innovation."

About Rx&D

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 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 ethical manner.


For further information:

Isabelle Robillard
Media Relations
Telephone: 613-236-0455 (extension 831)

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