Our history

Innovative Medicines Canada: A rich history

The early beginnings

The association was founded on April 23, 1914, by representatives of ten pharmaceutical and toilet products companies under the name “Canadian Association of Manufacturers of Medicinal and Toilet Products.” The rationale for establishing the association was “the mutual benefit and advancement of those interested in the manufacture of medicinal and toilet products.” In the initial years, membership was made up of individuals rather than companies.

The 10 founding members were:

  1. A. Smith, Frederick Stearns & Co.
  2. W. Horner, F.W. Horner Ltd.
  3. D. Daniel, Toronto Pharmacal Co.
  4. Lyman, John Wyeth & Bros. Co.
  5. M. Grant, Parke, Davis Co.
  6. V. Warmoll, Seely Manufacturing Co.
  7. E. Frosst, Charles E. Frosst & Co.
  8. W. Bole, National Drug & Chemical Co.
  9. McDonald Hay, Lyman Bros. & Co.
  10. E. Danner, Henry K. Wampole & Co.

Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association

In 1915, the Association changed its name to “Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.”

The goals of the Association in the 1920s were to produce pharmaceutical and biologics, to carry out research and to market products in an ethical manner. (The term “ethical” referred to the marketing of products to the medical profession rather than directly to the public.)

By 1924, the Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association was made up of three distinct divisions – pharmaceuticals, perfumes, and physician supplies.

During the early and mid-1950s, the activities of the Association were managed by a Board of Directors and a General Manager. In 1956, a full-time operation with offices in Toronto was established. By 1958, the Association consisted of membership of major pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada

In 1965, the Association again changed its name to the “Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada (PMAC).”

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

On May 1, 1999, PMAC became Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). The name reflected the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry in Canada over the past decade, and mirrored the mission of its member companies to continually improve the ability to treat, manage, prevent, and cure the illnesses that affect the lives of all Canadians.

On June 5, 2003, the Quebec Board of Continuing Medical Education (CEMCQ) and Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) launched a joint Code of Ethics for medical organizations responsible for continuing medical education activities with the pharmaceutical community.

On January 6, 2005, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), together with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), announced its support of the creation of an international registry of clinical trials. The portal was launched in March 2006.

On December 6, 2005, new Guiding Principles further strengthened and improved Rx&D’s Code of Conduct. Improvements to the Code were made in consultation with the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Ontario and Quebec pharmacists associations, the Pharmaceutical Advertising and Advisory Board, and provincial nursing chapters, to name a few. The new Guiding Principles took effect in January 2006.

In 2008, Rx&D celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its Code of Conduct and following a review, updated the name to the Code of Ethical Practices.

On January 1, 2009, Rx&D launched the Guidelines for Transparency in Stakeholder Funding.

On November 11, 2011, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) and MEDEC, Canada’s Medical Technology Companies, applauded the endorsement by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) of the Kuala Lumpur Principles for Medical Device Sector Codes of Ethics, and the Mexico City Principles for Voluntary Codes of Business Ethics in the Biopharmaceutical Sector. These principles are to be adopted by industry associations and pharmaceutical companies throughout the 21 APEC member economies.

100th anniversary of the association

On November 17, 2014, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the association and launched the Canadian Innovation Timeline. The timeline was developed in partnership with Let’s Talk Science to celebrate and promote the incredible contributions Canadian researchers have made to the discovery and advancement of pharmaceutical and life science research.

On November 17, 2014, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) and MEDEC – Canada’s Medical Technology Companies – welcomed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ (Heads of State) endorsement of the Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments in the Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical Sectors (2014-2020).

Innovative Medicines Canada

On January 4, 2016, following an extensive consultation and engagement with key stakeholders and partners in the life sciences community, the association changed its name to Innovative Medicines Canada to better align with the association’s values and work, and to better resonate with all partners.

On June 10, 2016, The Canadian Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration was endorsed by the Best Medicines Coalition, Health Charities Coalition of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Innovative Medicines Canada. The organizations are committed to ensuring that the relationships between patients, health care professionals and the pharmaceutical sector are based on ethical and responsible decisions.