CUSMA agreement on IP protection puts Canadian innovation at risk
Ottawa, December 10, 2019 –The revised Intellectual Property Provisions negotiated as part of the Canada US Mexico Agreement will discourage investment in Canadian health research and hurt our country’s competitiveness, Innovative Medicines Canada President Pamela Fralick said today.
“This is disappointing news for Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry, which is already facing significant challenges launching new medicines and attracting new investment in Canada given the severe anticipated impact of the recent amendments to Patented Medicines Regulations,” stated Ms. Fralick.
“A strengthened IP regime would have helped to boost Canada’s competitiveness in the life sciences sector by creating a climate that fosters innovation. Instead, companies in the Canadian innovative pharmaceutical sector will face even greater challenges competing for global research funding.”
Canada, the US and Mexico have completed negotiations with respect to the Canada US Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) that – if adopted by all three countries – will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As part of these new terms, the 10 years of data protection on new biologic drugs appears to have not been included, returning us to Canada’s current IP regime.
“The Government of Canada had previously claimed that enhanced intellectual property protections within CUSMA demonstrated its commitment to a strong and innovative life sciences industry,” said Ms. Fralick. “Today’s announcement sends the wrong signal to the thousands of researchers and scientists across the country who have dedicated their lives to finding new cures and innovative treatments to help Canadians live longer, healthier lives.”
We do not want to see Canada’s innovative medicine industry further diminished. Currently, IMC’s 40 member companies fund 93% of the 500 medicines in development in Canada. According to a 2017 EY Report, member companies generate $19-billion in economic activity, invest $1.2-billion annually (9.97% of revenues) into R&D, and support 30,000 high-value jobs.
About Innovative Medicines Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
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