Statement - Rx&D Applauds Efforts of Canadian Cancer Society to Provide
Patients with Improved Access to Life-Saving New Medicines

OTTAWA, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) President Russell Williams issued the following statement today responding to the report by the Canadian Cancer Society entitled, "Cancer Drug Access for Canadians."

"Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies commends the Canadian Cancer Society for exposing the huge gaps across Canada when it comes to providing access to life-saving new cancer medicines.

"The Society's report "Cancer Drug Access for Canadians" illustrates that patients are not well served by the discrepancy in access to new medicines between provincial programs. Canadians who rely on public drug plans have access to only about one in five of the new medicines that are approved by Health Canada.

"As the industry that discovers medicines that improve and save lives, we agree with the principle that Canadians should have access to the most appropriate drug to treat their condition regardless of where they live or their income level.

"It is difficult enough for patients and their families who are diagnosed with a life threatening disease. They should not be forced to fight for access to the medicine they need because it isn't covered under a provincial drug plan.

"An estimated 1 out of every 4 Canadian is expected to die from cancer, which is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. Our global industry currently has more than 800 medicines and vaccines in development to better treat, prevent and cure cancer.

"Patients must come first. Our industry's commitment is to work in partnership with governments and other stakeholders to develop a plan that supports research and innovation while promoting access to new medicines for those who are stricken with catastrophic illness."

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.

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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