Statement - Federal budget support for health sciences research makes good sense for Canadians, says Rx&D

    OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The following is a statement by Russell
Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies
(Rx&D), on the Federal Budget presented by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on
February 26, 2008 in the House of Commons.
    "The community that develops new medicines and vaccines welcomes the
Government of Canada's commitment in the budget to fostering research here at
home by promoting investment in research, science and technology.
    "We commend the Government for taking steps to modernize and improve the
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive
program, which will benefit all Canadians. Science offers unlimited
possibilities to improve health while creating new opportunities in the
knowledge based economy for our best and brightest young people.
    "Each year, our member companies invest more than $1 billion in research
and development in Canada and support the employment of 10,000 researchers
including partnerships between the public and private sectors.
    "Improvements in SR&ED will enhance our ability to compete with other
countries, including emerging economies. Furthermore, the additional
$1 billion in funding for public research, science and technology over two
years has the potential to attract greater private sector investment and
create a stronger commercial environment.
    "We believe Canada can be a leader in the global competition for
investment in life sciences research and development, which globally amounts
to about $100 billion per year.
    "Governments throughout Canada can also provide further momentum by
ensuring that Canadian patients have access to the latest advances in health
research. Continually strengthening our intellectual property regime is
another important ingredient to advancement in health and life sciences
    "Our community looks forward to working in partnership with the
government to ensure its considerable investments aimed at modernizing and
strengthening Canada's consumer safety and regulatory regime maximize the
benefits for Canadians.
    "We also applaud the government for investing a further $450 million in
the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In Canada, our
members have donated more than $180 million in medicines to Health Partners
International of Canada. Measures in the budget will further encourage these
kinds of donations. On a global basis, our biopharmaceutical community has
contributed more than $6.7 billion in aid to the developing world.
    "New medicines and vaccines improve and save lives while reducing
surgery, hospital stays and wait times. Our community is fully engaged in
promoting partnerships with governments which promote better health and safe
and appropriate medication use.
    "We will continue to work with the Government of Canada and all
governments to ensure the "made in Canada" approach of the science and
technology strategy is a key driver of Canada's future prosperity."

    Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) is an association
of members dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians. As partner in
the health-care system, our discoveries help eliminate the need for medical
procedures such as surgery, which have a significant impact on patient quality
of life and health-care budgets. Our community represents over 20,000 men and
women working for more than 50 member companies in Canada and is responsible
for generating 100,000 jobs across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: François Lessard, Communications, (613)

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

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