Innovative Medicines Canada represents Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry.
Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) is the national voice for the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Canada. Our members make significant contributions to the country’s knowledge economy through R&D investments, the creation of high value jobs and support for homegrown startups. They are also key contributors to the success of our health systems: The 500 new products that are currently in development in Canada, including therapies focused on cancer treatments, infectious diseases and vaccines, have the potential to help Canadians and people all over the world live longer and healthier lives, and save money for health systems in the process.
I am extremely proud of the work accomplished by IMC’s Board of Directors, member companies, core and advisory teams and staff over the course of what was a particularly challenging year for the industry. Through proposed changes to the Patented Medicines Price Review Board (PMPRB), the federal government introduced what former Health Minister called “the most significant suite of changes” to Canada’s pharmaceutical drug regime in three decades. These proposed changes are of grave concern to Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry, putting at risk the timely access to new medicines that Canadian patients have enjoyed for decades and impacting our ability to invest in health research.
Despite uncertainty in the regulatory environment, Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry has shown leadership, resilience and an enduring commitment to partnership and collaboration in an effort to ensure that Canadian patients will continue to have access to the medicines that they need, when they need them.
Tackling this immense challenge is only possible through working closely with stakeholders to develop data driven policies and offer health-system solutions that improve Canadians’ lives and provide increased opportunities to unlock Canada’s innovation economy. Throughout the year, we have valued working with policy makers from all levels of Canadian governments, health professionals, patient groups, think-tanks, chambers of commerce, private payer groups, life sciences and research organizations, among countless others.
We delivered a speaking tour from coast to coast to advocate for a regulatory environment that promotes innovation and supports intellectual property (IP) protection and evidencebased solutions that are in the best interest of all Canadians.
While we are working hard to advance medical research and development in our country, the reality is Canada only attracts approximately one per cent of global pharmaceutical research and development investment. If Canada is to meet the government’s goal of becoming a top-three global hub for the health and biosciences sector by 2025, we need “whole of government” solutions to ensure that Canada strikes an appropriate balance between addressing the need for affordable medicines and encouraging a competitive economic environment for the life sciences sector. Our membership is steadfast in its desire to work in partnership with government and stakeholders alike, to find that balance and to build a sustainable future for our health systems.
As we look towards the future, it seems that change is the new normal. While that can be daunting for some, I am confident that our continued commitment to partnership and collaboration—with stakeholders and each other—will lead us to the best possible outcomes for Canadian patients, for our industry, and for the future of healthcare in Canada.
Pamela C. Fralick
Read the full 2018 Annual Report.