Statement - New report provides the right prescription for bridging Canada's innovation gap and promoting economic prosperity

OTTAWA, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), on the release of a report entitled "Innovation for a Better Tomorrow: Closing Canada's Intellectual Property Gap" by the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

"This report "Innovation for a Better Tomorrow: Closing Canada's Intellectual Property Gap" puts forward concrete and achievable steps to bridge the innovation gap and create opportunities in the knowledge economy. We commend both the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for their comprehensive investigation of this exceedingly complex issue and their recommendations to improve the intellectual property regime in this country."

"Globally each year, about $100 billion is invested in life sciences research. By taking action to improve intellectual property rights, Canada will send a clear signal to the world that we are serious about beating the competition and capturing a greater share of this investment and the jobs that go with it.

"Intellectual property rights (IPR) are the cornerstone of innovation. Developing and bringing a new treatment to market can often take ten to twelve years and cost about $1 billion. A predictable and internationally competitive intellectual property regime will create major incentives for innovative pharmaceutical companies to conduct more research and perform more clinical trials here in Canada in collaboration with governments, research institutions and universities.

"The work of the Chamber and the CIPC also builds upon the increasing body of evidence provided by the Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada and others that improving IPR will give Canada a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

"Strengthening intellectual property safeguards also has the potential to improve the health of Canadians by making new medicines and vaccines available to patients to treat cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes and other chronic disease. As well, new medicines reduce workplace disability and save on health care costs for surgery, hospitalization and doctor visits.

"The report contains three recommendations that would improve the research environment in Canada immediately. These include: providing innovative companies an effective right to appeal an adverse court decision to provide a level playing field, improving data protection regulations and providing patent term restoration to offset regulatory delays. The duration of patent protection would remain the same if these changes were implemented. We look forward to working with CIPC, the Chamber and governments to begin implementing these recommendations."

About Rx&D

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.

SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

For further information:

François Lessard
Telephone: 613.236.0455

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

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