Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice for the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Canada. Our members are a key component to the success of our healthcare system – it is through their research and expertise that new medicines are able to come to market and make a difference in the lives of Canadians.
I began my tenure as Interim President of Innovative Medicines Canada a few short months ago after having previously served on the association’s Board of Directors as the former President and CEO of AstraZeneca Canada Inc. In the 28 years I have spent in this sector, I have witnessed the changing landscape of policy discussions and decision making and the accelerating rate of change in the past decade.
Health ministers and drug plan managers are facing significant pressures brought on by demographic shifts and economic challenges which are posing difficulties to healthcare sustainability. Conversations on healthcare models are increasingly focused on national initiatives such as the renewal of the Health Accord, a national formulary for prescription medicines and the increasing role of the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA).
Our industry is uniquely positioned to offer health system solutions to improve Canadians’ lives as well as opportunities to build Canada’s innovative economy. We are coming to the close of the second year of our strategic plan and our objectives to:
Beginning in 2015, Innovative Medicines Canada (then Rx&D), had initiated comprehensive consultations with all members of our healthcare ecosystem to better understand their needs and align ourselves on how best to serve Canadians.
We are listening, and changing, and we need to do more of both. On January 4, 2016, the association became Innovative Medicines Canada and the spark of innovation our guiding light. It is much more than just a new name. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we look at the challenges facing the industry and the healthcare system. We are seeking to build new partnerships and innovative solutions with governments, the life sciences sector and patient advocates to create fair, equitable and sustainable access to new innovative therapies.
We are also continuing to put ethics and compliance front and center in these discussions. The association has been recognized internationally for our role in the development of the Canadian Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration which brings together leading health organizations that are committed to ensuring the relationships between patients, healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical sector are based on ethical and responsible decisions.
As our environment changes, we must adapt our way of thinking and working, and align ourselves with the objectives of all the players in the healthcare ecosystem. The only way we will be successful is to become active participants in the discussion on sustainability, access and innovation. We have the skills and resources in our membership and our relationships with other stakeholders to offer real solutions to real systemic problems, and we have been actively pursuing these initiatives – from value demonstrating initiatives in Atlantic Canada to funding patient outcome research in the Prairies.
None of this work is feasible without the dedication of our Board, governance team members and staff. I have seen the commitment and hard work by our staff and membership as we tackle the issues of tomorrow and I can say with utmost certainty that the association and our members are poised to make a difference.
Read the full 2016 Annual Report.