[Ip-health] FW: New report on Canada's intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals

Richard Elliott relliott at aidslaw.ca
Tue May 31 12:27:09 PDT 2011

Report available at http://www.canadiangenerics.ca/en/news/may_30_11.asp

News Releases

Canada's Intellectual Property Protection for Pharmaceuticals Stronger
In Many Ways than EU and US 

Toronto, May 30, 2011 - Canada's intellectual property system for
pharmaceuticals is already stronger than that in any other industrial
sector in Canada, and is in many ways stronger than pharmaceutical IP in
the European Union (EU) and United States (US), according to a new
report by Edward M. Iacobucci, the Osler Chair in Business Law at the
University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. 

commissioned and released today by the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical
Association (CGPA). It is available at www.canadiangenerics.ca

Canada and the EU are currently in negotiations for a comprehensive
economic and trade agreement (CETA) that will affect many Canadian
industries, including pharmaceuticals. In January 2011, the Canadian
Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
released a report asserting that Canada's IP regime "lags behind"
international competitors and calling for extension of pharmaceutical
intellectual property rights in Canada as part of these negotiations.

In his report, Iacobucci notes that, in Canada, brand-name
pharmaceutical companies already benefit from protections that go beyond
international standards, specifically: * An automatic injunction against
generic competition of up to 24 months * Two rounds of patent
infringement litigation on the same set of patents * No statutory
incentive for generic pharmaceutical companies to challenge patents *
Regulatory data protection that lasts several years longer than the
international average * The ability to obtain patents on multiple
aspects of a drug without any mechanism for generic companies to oppose
a patent except through litigation 

Iacobucci contends that, aside from its inadequate comparisons of IP
provisions, the CIPC's recommendations are based on two fundamentally
flawed premises that are unexplained and unsupported in the CIPC Report:

1. Failure to Acknowledge Extra Costs to Canadian Consumers:
Pharmaceutical IP reflects a trade-off between innovation and access to
medicine, yet the report ignores the substantial and predictable costs
that will be visited on consumers and governments if Canadian
pharmaceutical IP rights are further expanded.

2. Unjustified Link Between IP, Employment and R&D: Although enhancing
innovation is laudable, there is no economic reason or empirical
evidence that suggests that extending IP protection in Canada will
meaningfully increase jobs or research and development (R&D) spending in
Canada. To the contrary, pharmaceutical R&D appears to be moving toward
countries having weaker IP, such as India and China.

The report notes that, despite several increases to Canadian IP,
investments in R&D as a percentage of sales have for nine years been
below the 10 percent threshold the brand-name drug industry committed to
in 1987.

About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents
Canada's generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an
important role in controlling health-care costs in Canada. Generic drugs
are dispensed to fill 58 per cent of all prescriptions but account for
only 26 per cent of the $22-billion Canadians spend annually on
prescription medicines.

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Connell
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)  
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Cellular: (647) 274-3379
Email: jeff at canadiangenerics.ca  
Website: www.canadiangenerics.ca

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