OTTAWA, March 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) on Budget 2012 tabled today by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
"The 2012 federal budget includes initiatives to bolster Canadian innovation and foster partnerships between Canada's world-leading researchers, both of which are critical to advancing life science research in Canada. As the industry that discovers and develops the medicines and vaccines that improve and save lives, we recognize and acknowledge this effort and direction.
"We welcome the government's commitment to encourage the development of public and private sector partnerships. Last week, CIHR and Rx&D announced the continuation of our 10-year research collaboration. This program has supported a wide range of health research projects at universities and hospitals across Canada. They have led to significant research discoveries making a difference in patient's lives today. It is our goal, through this partnership, to outpace global competition and to build on Canada's position as a leader in clinical research, to create jobs and increase R&D investments in Canada for the benefit of all Canadians.
"We are concerned that proposed changes to the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit could be detrimental to life science research and development in Canada. Our industry has encouraged the government to expand the definition of Scientific Research and Experimental Development eligible research to better reflect the true investment being made today.
"The SR&ED tax credit program is one of several factors that contribute to attracting more health research investment to Canada. The changes announced in today's budget, notably the reduction to the investment tax credit rate and the removing of capital from the base of eligible expenditures, present potential concern for research-based pharmaceutical companies. Rx&D will be studying this issue to better understand its impact, both positive and negative, on emerging and established companies in Canada.
"Policies that encourage and stimulate innovation are essential to Canada's long-term competitiveness and knowledge economy. We applaud the government's commitment to building a knowledge-based, globally competitive economy and encourage innovation policy that is inclusive of and aligned across all industrial sectors.
"We cannot overstate the urgent need to take action to preserve life sciences research and attract more jobs and investment in a fiercely competitive global market. This is why we commend the Government of Canada's commitment to negotiate the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, which is a part of Canada's Global Commerce Strategy.
"It is vital that CETA include measures to strengthen Canada's intellectual property regime, including an effective right of appeal, improved data protection regulations, and patent term restoration that is in line with our major global competitors. History shows that these measures will attract investment and spur innovation.
"As partners in securing Canada's health and prosperity, Rx&D looks forward to continuing to work with the government to strengthen our knowledge economy and deliver the highest-quality care to Canadians."
Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 15,000 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.