OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) on the Council of Federation announcement today to establish a new Health Care Innovation Working Group led by Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.
"Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies welcome the direction taken by the Premiers and Territorial leaders to create a new Health Care Innovation Working Group.
"At Rx&D, we believe that innovation is essential to sustainable health care in Canada. With the rise of chronic disease and an aging population, all governments are grappling with unprecedented demand for health care services. It is clear that we face a collective challenge to sustain our health care system where traditional approaches no longer work.
"We commend the Council of Federation's commitment to fully engage in this process. An innovation agenda in health care will leverage the value of new ideas, products and processes; maximize efficiencies; and, focus upstream with a serious and sustained approach to chronic disease prevention and management.
"Pharmaceutical innovation is a proven tool to help Canadians live longer, healthier, more productive lives. It is critical to the future productivity of our country, our workplaces, our communities and our citizens. Innovation is also the life-blood of a sustainable health care system and crucial for "patient-centered" care.
"The development of new and more effective medicines and vaccines continues to change the face of health care in Canada. Canadians now survive life threatening illness or live with chronic conditions in ways not possible for previous generations. Consider how different life is today for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS, diabetes or those who rely on medication to manage risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
"We look forward to working with the Premiers across Canada to develop and implement a scientific innovation and knowledge agenda that will result in better health and greater prosperity."
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.