Statement - Despite a challenging business climate, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies continue to invest over a billion dollars in research and development (R&D) annually



    OTTAWA, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical
Companies (Rx&D) President Russell Williams issued the following statement
today affirming the innovative industry's commitment to excellence in research
following the recent release of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's
(PMPRB) Annual Report.
    "Notwithstanding a challenging business environment and greater global
competition, Rx&D member companies invested more than one billion dollars in
pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in Canada in 2008. Of that
amount, more than $140 million were invested directly in Canadian universities
and hospitals. Over the last 20 years, our member companies' total investment
in R&D in Canada has averaged more than 10% of sales.
    "As the industry that develops medicines that help patients live longer,
healthier and more productive lives, we are proud of our members' commitment
to conduct R&D in Canada despite the economic uncertainty and the challenges
for patients to have access to our discoveries. At the moment on average, only
one in five medicines approved by Health Canada is made available on public
drug plans across the country.
    "The PMPRB report shows Canadian patients also receive excellent value
for their patented prescription medicines. While the Consumer Price Index
climbed by 2.3% in Canada in 2008, prices for patented medicines increased by
a mere 0.1% during that period. Over the past decade, prices for innovative
medicines were approximately 7% below the international median.
    "In contrast, several studies have shown that Canadian generic drug
prices are among the highest in the world. For example, the federal
Competition Bureau found that Canadians and our health care system could save
up to $800 million a year "if generic drugs were sold in a more competitive
market."
    "We believe that action is needed now to improve Canada's capacity to
attract pharmaceutical R&D in a fiercely competitive global market. Canada
accounts for only about one per cent of global pharmaceutical R&D investments
which are estimated at about $100 billion annually.
    Canada can do better. We have many of the ingredients necessary to make
our country a global leader in life sciences including highly skilled people
and some of the best hospitals, universities and research institutions in the
world.
    "We need a comprehensive approach where innovators can rely on an
improved and more stable data protection regime. To that end, the July 17th
Federal Court decision to uphold data protection regulations in Canada is
crucial in providing the tools to build a stronger, internationally
competitive life sciences industry. Innovators also need fair pricing policies
for their discoveries, and most importantly, patients should have access to
the fruits of innovation through their provincial drug programs.
    Our industry's commitment is to work in partnership with governments and
other stakeholders to improve the research environment in Canada. Working
collaboratively, we can develop policies that will create more jobs and
investment in the knowledge economy while giving patients choice and improved
access to the new medicines and vaccines that improve and save lives.

    About Rx&D

    Rx&D is an association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies
dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through the discovery and
development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 20,000 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.





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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