Our country has a rich history of innovation. From peanut butter and paint rollers to advances in medical technologies and innovative therapies – Canada has its fair share of talented inventors and researchers. When it comes to pharmaceutical innovation, the list is impressive. Right now there are over 7,000 potential new therapies in development worldwide.
Canadian research and innovation has contributed to changing the way we face chronic diseases. Illnesses that once robbed people of their ability to work and contribute to their communities are now being managed through medication, and some are being cured completely. It’s imperative that we not only recognize these breakthroughs, big and small, but to also embrace them. This should empower the over 14,000 Canadians who work in the innovative pharmaceutical industry as they tackle our biggest health issues.
This hinges on ensuring Canadians can benefit from advances in pharmaceutical science, because it’s good for patients. But there is also enormous benefit for our healthcare system. While spending on innovative medicines and vaccines makes up only 6.4% of the total healthcare dollars spent in Canada, significant savings can be generated elsewhere in the system, and for the Canadian economy as a whole. New therapies help Canadians avoid costly hospital stays and invasive surgical procedures, and enable them to live productive lives.
Protecting these innovations is also important. New ideas turn into new inventions. New inventions can give Canada an edge to compete on a global scale. To compete on this global scale, Canada needs to have laws and regulations that put us on par with other similar advanced economies in order for us to attract and develop these bright ideas at home. If implemented properly and quickly, CETA will help to bring Canada’s intellectual property standards in line with those of the EU and will allow us to be better equipped to compete for global investments into the life sciences sector, not to mention the whole innovation economy. We are pleased to see that Canada and the EU recently finalized the text and legal review of CETA, and encourage the Government in its goal to have the Agreement signed in 2016 and enter into force in 2017. Finalizing CETA will unlock access to the world’s largest common market of 550 million consumers and spur annual economic activity of $12-billion.
The Government of Canada has committed to Canadians that it will develop and deliver on an innovation agenda. Around the world, the life sciences sector is projected to grow at an annual rate of 9 percent with global spending on life sciences research and development at about $123-billion per year. The life sciences sector is a natural partner and, as Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical companies, it is our commitment to Canadians to work to strengthen Canada’s record on innovation so that we can develop our knowledge-based economy.
HR Microscope May 2016