Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine development

Canada’s amended Patent Act weakens protections for intellectual property in the life sciences just when rights are vital for mobilizing a rapid response

Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine developmentFirst, the good news: Symvivo Corp., a Canadian company, has a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate in phase one trials. The bad news is that the federal government is dismantling the incentives to find a vaccine. In the battle against the global pandemic, public- and private-sector actors both have essential roles to play. Governments are collecting data,…

USMCA will stunt potentially lifesaving innovation

The new trade agreement represents progress for international trade, but crucially, it weakens protections for the biopharma industry

USMCA will stunt potentially lifesaving innovationIn December, the United States, Mexico and Canada signed a new trade agreement (USMCA) in Mexico City. The agreement represents progress for international trade, but crucially, it weakens protections for the biopharma industry, as the final version of the deal removed provisions that would have extended the exclusivity (essentially, the period of time when brand-name…

Trudeau pharmacare could limit drug access, hurt patients 

Canada must cautiously approach any policy change that puts patients, innovation and innovative industries at risk

Trudeau pharmacare could limit drug access, hurt patients Justin Trudeau has promised, if re-elected, to introduce a national pharmacare program. But some cautionary notes must be sounded. The recent announcement was light on details but Trudeau cited his government’s advisory council on national pharmacare. In June, the council released its final report recommending Ottawa provide universal coverage for pharmaceuticals through a national formulary…

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverage

Both countries partner with the private sector and expect patients to share the cost of treatment

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverageBy Bacchus Barua and Kristina Acri The Fraser Institute The Liberal federal government seems poised to propose a national pharmacare plan in time for the Oct. 21 federal election. Many proponents note that Canada is the only industrialized country featuring a universal health-care system that doesn’t provide universal coverage for prescription drugs. However, those same…

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helps

Will likely result in reduced access to new drugs, and delay research and development

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helpsThe federal government’s pharmacare advisory council released a report last week outlining the “foundational” elements of a national plan. And Tuesday’s federal budget may include more details. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding regarding core aspects of the pharmacare debate. Given that proponents in Canada often cite government-funded pharmacare programs in the United…

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to Canadians

As the trade in counterfeit drugs grows, so do the risks to Canadian patients and the costs to legitimate manufacturers

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to CanadiansThe threat of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs is on the rise in Canada. From April 2016 to March 2017, Health Canada seized close to 5,500 packages of counterfeit drugs – mainly sexual enhancement drugs such as Viagra – on their way to patient hands. In a single week last year, Health Canada confiscated $2.5 million worth…

Inadequate intellectual property rights protections hurt patients, economy

Provide biopharmaceutical firms with patent term extensions to recover time lost due to mandatory governmental regulatory and marketing approvals

Inadequate intellectual property rights protections hurt patients, economyAs the old adage states, “You’ll be known by the company you keep.” As such, the implications for Canada’s biopharmaceutical sector are rather dismal. While an extensive body of evidence demonstrates that patents and other intellectual property protections are critical to the future of innovation and the development of new treatments and cures, Canadian legislation…

Stronger IP protection for biologic medicine could save lives

Biologic medicines are difficult and expensive to develop, and Canadia's weak intellectual property protections are making it even harder

Stronger IP protection for biologic medicine could save livesBiologic medicines save lives and improve the quality of life for millions of people. To date, almost 200 biologic medicines have been brought to market. It’s projected that by 2017 biologics could comprise seven of the top 10 global pharmaceuticals and account for up to 30 per cent of pharmaceuticals under development. That’s great news…