OTTAWA, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's
Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), in response to the
release of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB) 2011
"The PMPRB report released today demonstrates the urgent need to improve
Canada's competitiveness so that the Canadian innovative pharmaceutical
sector can become a leader in life sciences research and investment.
Rx&D member companies continue to represent the lion's share of
pharmaceutical R&D in Canada at a little over 90% of all patentee R&D
reported to the PMPRB in 2011, part of a long-term commitment that has
resulted in investments of, on average 9.75 percent of sales per year
over the past 24 years (based on SR&ED eligible R&D only).
"That said the 2011 report points to the trend of declining R&D
investment, one that we want to work with governments across Canada to
reverse. Quite simply, we do not have the tools to compete
internationally and the mechanisms created 25-years ago need to be
updated. Our key competitors and trading partners have upgraded and
improved their policies to aggressively pursue R&D investments. Our
goal is to see investment in Canada grow again. Rx&D members continue
to invest at a higher rate than the rest of the industry.
"We are actively pursuing ways to help Canada regain its competitive
edge and today's report can only be interpreted as a compelling call to
action for all involved.
A quarter-century later, the world has changed
"In 1987, Rx&D members committed to invest ten percent of annual sales
revenues in Canadian R&D by 1996, "assuming that the international and
national regulatory environments for the pharmaceutical industry will
not undergo substantial change".
"Rx&D members met that commitment, but twenty-five years later, both
international and domestic environments have become increasingly
challenging. Today, multiple layers of federal and provincial
regulatory process, intellectual property protection which is not
globally competitive, along with limited access to medicines in Canada
are real concerns. International competition for research dollars is
extremely fierce and it has become more and more difficult for Canadian
CEOs to win global investments for Canada.
"At the same time, the model for life sciences research and innovation
in the twenty-first century has changed. Canada's research-based
pharmaceutical companies are investing in new, more collaborative
initiatives, including research partnerships with Canadian
universities, hospitals, centres of excellence, early stage
biopharmaceutical companies and health charities. While these often
multi-million dollar initiatives clearly support research and
development in Canada, they do not qualify under the criteria used by
PMPRB to measure R&D investment, a 25-year old methodology first
developed to track tax credits.
"Last year, Rx&D commissioned a report by KPMG, using updated criteria
agreed to by Industry Canada, PMPRB and CIHR. KPMG found that when
reviewed using the updated criteria, Rx&D members had invested 28
percent above and beyond what was captured by the PMPRB's 2010 annual
report. A similar review of our 2011 investments is underway.
"We believe that the regulations should be changed in order to document
all R&D in Canada.
Strengthening Canada's competitive-edge
"Globalization presents both challenges and opportunities, especially
for a high-value business activity such as life sciences R&D, for which
countries around the world are competing aggressively. It is a critical
contributor to both the health and wealth of our nation, and it hinges
on having the right policy in place to create a stronger, more
attractive investment environment in Canada.
"The Government of Canada's ambitious trade agenda provides an
opportunity to do just that - by strengthening safeguards for
intellectual property and shoring up Canada's position as a leading
contender for life sciences investment. Similarly, provincial and
territorial governments have opportunities to better leverage the value
that new medicines offer to help achieve health system sustainability.
"I cannot overstate the urgency of the situation. The PMPRB annual
report released today shows that the status quo is not an option for
the future of the Canadian life sciences sector. If we want to grow and
maintain a key pillar of Canada's knowledge-based economy, if we want
to support a healthier and more prosperous Canada, we must do so with a
clear understanding of the global context and our competition.
"Over $100 billion dollars is invested by our global member companies in
R&D every year. We currently attract roughly one percent to Canada.
Let's commit our collective energy, and policies, to growing our share
of this investment. History tells us that it is good for Canada and
good for 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 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 (RX
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