SASKATOON, SK, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Protection of Proprietary
Interests in Pesticide Data in Canada (PPIP) regulation administered by
the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has been a "headache" for
companies that are trying to give farmers access to lower cost
The federal government is trying to create an environment within which
the primary agriculture industry can be more cost competitive, but it
seems the PMRA has not bought into that agenda.
"There's something wrong when farmers in southeast Saskatchewan have
found Folicur available in North Dakota for less than $1.50 per acre,
while their local price is over $8 per acre," said Darren Palendat,
Product Manager with AgraCity Crop and Nutrition (AgraCity), who is one
of several suppliers of generic products for Farmers of North America
(FNA) Members. He continued to say that "Banvel is 300% higher in
Canada, and we can't convince our regulatory agency to manage the
expedient registration of generics, even after the original
registrant's exclusive marketing period has ended. It's critical that
Canadian farmers are cost-competitive around the world, particularly
with their U.S. counterparts."
Bob Friesen, VP Government Affairs with FNA, said many companies can't
afford to engage in the process of registering new generic products
because of how the regulations were implemented and are being
administered. This includes a problem created by embedded
contradictions between the ministerial agreement and the regulations.
Generic companies and FNA Members have suggested two very concise
changes—without compromising basic registrants' exclusive period or
their right to data compensation—but the PMRA has taken no action.
"Canadian farmers have been frustrated long enough," said Friesen. "In
fact, I am told by some generic companies that Canada is one of the
toughest countries in which to register a generic chemical. We are
asking the federal health and agriculture ministers to step in and
resolve the PMRA's intransigence."
PPIP was implemented in 2010 to achieve balanced objectives, as was
intended by the federal health minister. These objectives are not being
"PPIP gives original registrants patent protection and an exclusive use
period, and we believe they should get a fair price for compensable
data," said Friesen. "However, the regulation has ended up giving the
original registrants far more than that, including the ability to delay
the registration of generics—in some cases indefinitely."
The poor and unbalanced implementation of PPIP has put Canada far
behind—compared to other countries—in providing Canadian farmers with
lower cost generic alternatives and is occurring in spite of the fact
that agriculture minister Ritz and his provincial colleagues included
cost competitiveness as an important component in Growing Forward 2.
Improving cost competitiveness is also a proactive move to reduce
reliance on tax funded government programs in the future.
According to Canadian regulation, farmers and generic companies are
entitled to register generics after a certain period, and original
registrants are obligated to cooperate in return for an initial period
of protection. This is something the PMRA appears to be resisting.
While there have been a few end use products registered since the
implementation of PPIP, it does not justify the PMRA stumbling so badly
on additional registrations that could save farmers millions.
FNA applauds the Harper government's agenda to increase industry
competitiveness and to change or eliminate regulation that prevents
competitiveness, as well as their desire to harmonize regulations with
our competitor countries. They are on the right track.
"We thank Minister Aglukkaq and Minister Ritz for their work and for
being an integral part of the government achieving its objectives, and
we are now asking for their intervention on this issue. The message has
obviously not resonated within the PMRA since it is clearly not helping
the federal government achieve its goals and objectives. That is
costing Canadian farmers millions of dollars and undermining their
ability to be cost competitive."
Farmers of North America is a farmers' business alliance with the
mission of "Improving Farm Profitability."
SOURCE: Farmers of North America
For further information:
Bob Friesen, VP Government Affairs, FNA
Tel: (613) 230-2222
Cel: (613) 852-9711