Re: “Harper caves in to Big Pharma” (Trail Times, Nov. 15). It is difficult to determine where to begin with the misconceptions and inaccuracies contained in this opinion column.
Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) are living up to their commitment to Canadians but the world has changed since we made that commitment in 1987. Today, it is a well-known fact that research investments are made in ways that are not captured by the 25-year old reporting system that populates the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) annual report.
The work our members do contributes $3 billion per year to the Canadian economy and keeps 46,000 people working, and that says nothing of the countless billions of dollars that are saved by innovative medicines keeping people out of hospital, curing illness, easing chronic pain and preventing infectious diseases.
France and the UK are held up as comparators for Canada, noting they have a higher ratio of R&D investment and lower drug prices. But interestingly, it isn’t noted that they also have better access to new medicines and stronger protections for intellectual property than Canada.
Further, the author claims access to generic medicines is key to a sustainable healthcare system; but fails to acknowledge that without investing to discover and develop new medicines, there will be no generic drugs.
Russell WilliamsPresident, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)Ottawa