Statement from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association Regarding Canadian Chamber of Commerce Report on Intellectual Property in the Pharmaceutical Sector

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), regarding the report on intellectual property in the pharmaceutical sector released today by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

"It is unfortunate that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has chosen to advocate on behalf of brand-name drug companies for longer periods of market exclusivity in Canada.

While the Chamber calls itself the "Voice of Canadian Business" it has chosen the narrow economic interests of brand-name drug companies over the interests of every other Canadian employer that funds drug benefit plans for its employees. The brand-name drug makers' proposals endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will add billions of dollars to prescription drug costs for provincial governments, patients and Canadian businesses.

The three pharmaceutical intellectual proposals endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are precisely the same proposals put forward by the European Union (EU) as part of the current trade negotiations with the Government of Canada. Many brand-name drug companies are based in Europe and pharmaceuticals are the EU's top export to Canada comprising 16 percent of total exports at a value of more than $5-billion annually. While the EU's economic motivation for increasing revenues for European-based brand-name pharmaceutical companies is obvious, it is less clear why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce would want to enrich the European Union at the expense of Canada's health-care system and Canadian businesses.

The report issued today by the Chamber omits key information regarding Canada's current intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals and how it compares with other jurisdictions. It also provides a one-sided perspective on investments in Canada by the brand-name pharmaceutical sector.

More than 20 years of experience have proven that longer periods of market monopoly for brand-name drugs will not result in increased investments in Canada or increased spending on research into new drugs. The Government of Canada has increased intellectual property protection for brand-name drug companies no fewer than eight times since 1987 and Canada's intellectual property regime exceeds our international trade and treaty obligations. Despite these increases, investments in Canada by brand-name drug companies continue to decline.

The federal government's Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) reported that, despite these many increases to pharmaceutical IP protection, research and development spending by brand-name drug companies in Canada has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years. The PMPRB reported that in 2009, brand-name drug companies spent only 7.5 percent of their Canadian revenues on research and development in Canada, marking the ninth consecutive year that brand-name drug companies have broken their promise to spend at least 10 percent of their domestic sales on R&D."

SOURCE Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

For further information:

Jeff Connell
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Mobile: (647) 274-3379


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