New report urges Canada to close intellectual property gap to fuel prosperity and create jobs in the pharmaceutical sector

OTTAWA, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - A report released today by the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) concludes that Canada must improve and strengthen its intellectual property regime to close the gap with other leading industrialized countries to attract research and investment in the pharmaceutical sector. The CIPC is an organization of businesses under the banner of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce focused on improving and protecting intellectual property rights in Canada.

The report entitled, Innovation for a Better Tomorrow: Closing Canada's Intellectual Property Gap recommends that Canada make improvements in three crucial areas to attract jobs and spark growth in life sciences. These include:

  • levelling the playing field between innovative pharmaceutical companies and generics,
  • providing internationally competitive protection for the data produced by innovators, and
  • protecting their discoveries from regulatory and other delays in the approval process.

The report is being released as Canada and the European Union (EU) conduct negotiations aimed at expanding trade that could produce an estimated $10.7 billion in benefits for Canada over seven years. The EU is calling on Canada to improve intellectual property rights (IPR) to meet international standards as part of the negotiations.

"Canada's pharmaceutical industry is doing all it can to attract investment. But it cannot do it alone," said Perrin Beatty President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "This report shows that the European Union and many jurisdictions provide better intellectual property protection and, as a result, offer a more advantageous investment climate. Canada must keep pace if we want to fulfill the promise of creating jobs and investment in our pharmaceutical sector."

"Intellectual property reforms previously made by the federal government have resulted in tremendous investment and growth to Canada," said Bob Weese, Vice President, Government and External Relations of GE Canada and Chair of the CIPC." In the past few years, we have seen that the time and investment needed to discover, develop and bring to market new medicines have significantly increased, and our intellectual property framework has not kept pace with this change."

The report's findings build on the recent work of the Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada, an organization of leaders from business, academia and the research community. In October, the coalition called on Canada to adopt "the world's strongest intellectual property regime" as part of a 10-point action plan to promote job creation and economic prosperity.

"Today's report by the Canadian Intellectual Property Council offers a well-researched analysis of the problems facing innovators in this country, and a clear set of recommendations that would help us to close the innovation gap," said John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and co-chair of the Coalition for Action on Innovation.

Among the report's conclusions:

  • Patient care is best served by making new innovations available.
  • New medicines save valuable dollars by helping to reduce the number of expensive hospital stays and surgeries.
  • Global investment in the pharmaceutical industry is very portable and competitive. A stable and internationally competitive intellectual property regime is a key investment consideration. 
  • Other advanced jurisdictions have stronger intellectual property regimes that recognize the value of innovation.
  • Canada's existing patent protection has been further eroded by regulatory delays.
  • Failure to improve and strengthen IPR safeguards will see opportunities and jobs go elsewhere.

CIPC and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
The Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) is a coalition of business groups working together under the banner of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to improve Canada's economic competiveness by ensuring the adoption of world-class intellectual property protection.

As Canada's largest and most influential business association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the primary and vital connection between business and the federal government. It continually demonstrates impact on public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada. Experience the power of a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions.

To read the report please visit: www.chamber.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The

For further information:

Émilie Potvin
Director, Public Affairs
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.238.4000 ext. 231
epotvin@chamber.ca

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Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The

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