Quebec Government Supports a Strong Biopharmaceutical Sector

MONTREAL, Oct. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - In the midst of challenging economic times, the announcement of the Quebec government's biopharmaceutical strategy is good news for basic pharmaceutical research and patient access to innovative medicines, said Dawn Graham, President of Merck Frosst Canada today in response to the release of the Quebec Pharmaceutical Strategy.

"We are very pleased to learn that Minister Clément Gignac and the Government of Quebec have developed a new strategy that not only encourages biopharmaceutical research and partnerships between industry, government and research leaders in the biopharmaceutical sector in Quebec, but also places a large emphasis on patient access to innovative medicines," said Dawn Graham, President of Merck Frosst.

Merck Frosst is encouraged to see that the Quebec Biopharmaceutical strategy includes:

    
    - The creation of an exchange forum led by public and private industry
      leaders all aiming at improving the innovation and commercialization
      system.
    - Greater interaction between the Ministry of Health and Social Services
      and industry leaders regarding drug policy.
    - Increased support for projects seeking to improve existing
      biopharmaceutical technology that may significantly improve the
      commercialization process.
    - A campaign to inform and encourage young people to pursue careers in
      the sciences as well as the development of transitional programs to
      place qualified immigrants.
    - Commitment to support the federal process for patent protection and
      improved data protection for biopharmaceuticals in Canada.
    - Financial commitment to develop a provincial interrelation initiative
      comprised of leaders from the public and private biopharmaceutical
      sector focusing on moving key research projects towards successful
      commercialization.
    

The Quebec Biopharmaceutical Strategy stays true to the spirit of "La Politique du médicament" by seeking to improve market access, optimal use, cost management, and the maintenance of a dynamic industry, all of which contribute to the government's goals of providing a world-class health system and leading economy.

As a leader in basic pharmaceutical research in Quebec, Merck Frosst recognizes that a strong government strategy is critical for innovation and increased competition. Merck Frosst congratulates the government on developing a framework that will ensure a vibrant future for the Quebec biopharmaceutical sector and provides a strong link between health and industry goals to promote innovation and patient access.

About Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.

At Merck Frosst, patients come first. Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. is a research-driven pharmaceutical company discovering, developing and marketing a broad range of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve human health. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research, one of the largest biomedical research facilities in Canada, has the mandate to discover new therapies for the treatment of infectious diseases. Merck Frosst is one of the top 20 R&D investors in Canada, with an investment of $110 million in 2007.

Based in Montréal, Quebec, Merck Frosst employs more than 950 people including nearly 200 of the world's leading scientific personnel. More information about Merck Frosst is available at http://www.merckfrosst.com.

SOURCE Merck Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Vincent Lamoureux, Director, Communications, Merck Frosst Canada, (514) 428-3456


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