Rx&D applauds creation of Regulatory Cooperation Council to spark economic growth and improve public health and safety

OTTAWA, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), on the initiative by the Canadian and U.S. governments to create a Regulatory Cooperation Council to improve competitiveness and enact smarter, more efficient regulations

"We commend Prime Minister Harper and President Obama for their commitment to reduce red tape and streamline regulations through the creation of a Regulatory Cooperation Council.

"Canada has a prescription drug regulatory regime that is a half century old. Modernizing regulations and building upon practices in Canada, the U.S. and other developed countries will reap huge benefits for Canadian patients.

"We welcome the commitment to enact "smarter, more effective approaches" to regulation while maintaining high standards of public health and safety and without compromising Canadian sovereignty.

"Delays don't make prescription medicines any safer and mean that patients may be denied access to a new medication or vaccine that could save their lives. By enacting smart regulations and reducing unnecessary delays, we will be able to ensure patients have access to the right medication at the right time while also improving patient safety.

"Scientific knowledge is more powerful when it is shared. Data sharing and building on best practices internationally will also allow for better monitoring of a drug's safety profile before and after it reaches the pharmacy shelf. Taxpayers will also benefit from the savings that harmonization will bring.

"New medicines and vaccines reduce workplace disability and save on health care costs for surgery, hospitalization and doctor visits. They also help in the fight against chronic disease which costs our health care system about $150 billion a year.

"Canada must take steps to strengthen intellectual property rights, reduce red tape and provide access to new treatments if we want to lead the world in attracting jobs and investment. Opening the doors to innovation will help Canada attract a larger share of global investments in life sciences research while preserving and creating jobs in the knowledge economy.

"We look forward to collaborating with the governments to ensure that these initiatives are put into action for the benefit of Canadians as well as for our neighbour and largest trading partner."

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.


For further information:

François Lessard
Telephone: 613.236.0455
E-mail: flessard@canadapharma.org

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