Rx&D supports Ontario Government's goal of expanding access to affordable
medicines for all Ontarians

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) supports the Ontario government's efforts in reforming the drug system to provide all Ontarians with "wider access to affordable medicines" while making health care sustainable for current and future generations.

"As partners in the health care system, we want to work with the government and health care providers to ensure that patients have access to the most appropriate treatment," said Russell Williams, President of Rx&D. "We support the government's policy goals to improve the health of Ontarians through timely access to innovative medicines and vaccines that improve and save lives."

It has been clearly demonstrated that access to innovative medicines and vaccines improves patient outcomes and contributes to the sustainability of our health care system by reducing hospitalization, surgery and other health costs. The Ontario government deserves recognition for its efforts to make the health care system sustainable.

"We are encouraged to see that improved patient access to affordable medicines is at the heart of these reforms," said Hugh O'Neill, President and CEO of sanofi aventis Canada and Chair of Rx&D's Ontario Committee. "We applaud the government's focus on reinvesting savings from these reforms into improving access to new medicines which offer new hope to patients who suffer from cancer and other illnesses."

Rx&D expresses strong support for the role of pharmacists as a vital and integral part of the health care system. We look forward to working collaboratively with pharmacy and government to improve outcomes and encourage safe and appropriate medication use. We are also encouraged by measures to increase support for pharmacists particularly those in rural and under serviced areas.

Mr. Williams concluded, "We look forward to reviewing the drug reform regulations when they are released and to ongoing consultations with the government and other stakeholders as they are implemented. Our commitment is to put patients first and we will continue to work with the government to improve the health and prosperity of Ontarians."

    
    Key Facts on the innovative pharmaceutical Industry in Ontario

    -   Employs over 8,000 Ontarians in high-value jobs, such as researchers
        and scientists

    -   Invested more than $500-million in Ontario in 2006 to enable the
        discovery of life-saving therapies, such as antibiotics, new vaccines
        and more effective cancer treatments

    -   Invests the highest proportion of R&D-as-a-percent-of-sales of all
        Top 100 Corporate research and development investors

    -   Is the most research intensive sector of Canada's top 100 corporate
        Research and Development investors
    

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 represents 18,000 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 ethical manner.

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

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

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

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ONTARIO HEALTH CARE

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