Celebrating Canada 150

Posted on June 29, 2017

For more than a century, Canada has been at the forefront of medical innovation. From the discovery of insulin to advances in stem cell research, Canadians have made significant scientific contributions, revolutionizing health outcomes not only within Canada, but around the globe. These innovations and new treatments have led to an increase in life expectancy resulting in healthy, fulfilling lives. And we are immensely proud.

On February 1—exactly 150 days before our sesquicentennial birthday, Innovative Medicines Canada began showcasing these remarkable achievements in a weekly social media campaign marked #Canada150 | #Innovation150. Our #Canada150 timeline is a snapshot of Canada’s rich history of scientific discovery and innovation.

As we celebrate our past achievements, it’s just as important to take stock on where we’re going. Our health ecosystem is enviable—Canada is home to some of the best researchers, scientists and research infrastructure around the world, with pharmaceutical companies, universities and research centres partnering to push the boundaries of medical discovery.

Our innovative pharmaceutical industry supports more than 30,000 Canadians with high-quality, well-paying jobs and invests more than $1 billion annually into research and development, supporting local economies and providing Canadians with access to better care. Right now, there are over 500 innovative therapies in development in Canada, including treatments for cancer, infectious diseases and new vaccines.

Across the country, there are more than 4500 clinical trials currently taking place—a 40 per cent increase since 2015 and a number we hope to keep growing. The Canadian Clinical Trials Coordination Centre’s newly launched Canadian Clinical Trials Asset Map has been designed to communicate our clinical research strengths and pave the way for Canada to become a go-to clinical trial destination—sparking further discovery, economic growth and better healthcare.

We are inspired for the future. Innovative Medicines Canada looks forward to forging strong partnerships and working collaboratively with healthcare stakeholders on the evolution of our health systems. Working with our partners and standing at the forefront of health innovation will promote a vibrant life sciences economy and the discovery of vital new medicines and vaccines, enhance sustainability within our health system, and, ultimately, ensure Canadians have timely access to world-class therapies for years to come. And that’s something to celebrate.

Wishing our members, the life sciences community and all Canadians a safe and wonderful July 1st. Happy 150th birthday, Canada!

Pamela Fralick is President of Innovative Medicines Canada.

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