OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - The Federal Court of Appeal has released a
unanimous decision upholding some important safeguards in Canada's
Intellectual Property (IP) Regime which are crucial to facilitating
Canadian patient access to new medicines and to building a stronger,
internationally competitive life sciences industry in Canada.
"This is a clear victory for innovation in Canada," said Russell
Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies
(Rx&D). "It supports our collective goal to make Canada a world leader
in creating jobs and opportunities in the knowledge economy."
The ruling upholds a 2009 decision by the Federal Court of Canada which
dismissed an application by the generic drug industry challenging the
federal government's right to improve Canada's IP regime. The Food and Drug Regulations which came into effect in 2006 after
widespread consultations with the research community, industry and
academia, currently provide 8 years of data protection for the
scientific discoveries of innovative pharmaceutical companies.
These improvements support the development of new life saving and life
improving medicines and vaccines in Canadian laboratories and
universities, and facilitate access by Canadian patients to these
innovative medicines and vaccines.
Before the changes were made, Canada was in contravention of its
international trade obligations because it had no enforceable data
protection. In contrast, Canada's major trading partners have not only
implemented effective data protection, but some like the European Union
provide a longer period of data protection of 10 years. More recently,
the Obama administration implemented 12 years of data protection for
cutting edge innovative biologics in the United States.
While further improvement to Canada's data protection are still required
to match the standards set by our major trading partners, the decision
adds clarity and supports fairness in the IP regime despite a constant
stream of litigation by generic companies that clogs courts and
increases costs without any benefit to patient care or life sciences
research in Canada. In contrast, improving data protection will help
Canada build its knowledge-based economy and sustain the health care
Mr. Williams concludes, "This is an important step but Canada still
faces a significant innovation gap compared to other developed and
emerging countries. Setting healthcare costs against IP improvements is
both misleading and counterproductive. Other countries view IP
protection as part of the solution, rather than a cost driver. They
recognize that their future depends upon cultivating and encouraging
knowledge industries such as the life sciences sector. We need to sit
down with governments and others in life sciences to improve our IP
regime so that it meets or exceeds those of our global competitors."
Key Facts About Rx&D Member Companies' Canadian Contribution
Over $1 billion invested annually in research and development (R&D) in
Responsible for investing highest proportion of
R&D-as-a-percent-of-sales of all top 100 corporate research and
Is the most research intensive sector of Canada's top 100 corporate
research and development investors.
New medicines and vaccines improve and save lives while contributing to
the sustainability of our health care system by reducing
hospitalization and other health costs.
Canadians are continuing to receive excellent value for their patented
prescription medicines which over the past decade have been on average
7 % below the international price median.
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
SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)
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