Patient group reacts to CETA - Statement from Phil Upshall, Executive Director of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada regarding Canada-European Trade (CETA)

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Mood Disorders Society of Canada applauds Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada for reaching an agreement with the world's largest single market, the European Union.

CETA represents an incredible opportunity to ensure continued Canadian research and innovation in medicines that will improve the health of all Canadians and keep highly skilled research jobs in Canada.

With CETA, the government is taking significant steps to address mood disorders and mental illness, one of the most debilitating illnesses in our country, and for that we will all be winners.

The effects of depression are far-reaching. An estimated 10 per cent of Canadians are living with depression, and two-thirds of these will leave their doctor's office without an effective solution to what ails them. More than 45 per cent of seniors living in residential care homes suffer from depression. Anti-depressants are the leading prescription drug on the campuses of Canada's colleges and universities.  The increase in the number of Canadians considering suicide and the current lack of an evidence-based suicide prevention strategy is alarming.

The impacts of depression and other mental illnesses go well beyond how it affects the lives of those who are living with it and their families, friends and caregivers.

Mental illness is the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada, carrying an estimated $51-billion cost to the Canadian economy. From direct and indirect health-care costs, pressure on the criminal justice system, child abuse and neglect and lost income and productivity due to missed time at work, depression is one of the biggest challenges facing Canada, both financially and socially.

CETA will help create the conditions that will encourage more pharmaceutical research and development and facilitate the associated clinical trials that test innovative pharmaceutical and cognitive therapies and interventions which will help develop effective interventions and improve the mental health of Canadians.

By strengthening Canada's intellectual property (IP) regime, CETA will ensure continued innovation in medicines and improve the health of all Canadians, including those with mental illness. The last time Canada reformed its IP policy 25 years ago, it sparked a boom in private sector research and development spending in Canada's pharmaceutical sector.  The rest of the world has evolved since then and Canada must keep pace.

SOURCE: Mood Disorders Society of Canada

For further information:

Jacqueline LaRocque
(613) 288-5044

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Mood Disorders Society of Canada

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