Canada’s lack of ability to produce the COVID-19 vaccine raises new questions about how the government should approach the pharmaceutical industry. As Canada seeks to create a better investment climate for pharmaceutical companies, some people try to avoid cultures that can encourage overcompensation and overprescribing, instead of proposing a more results-based approach. I’m calling attention.
Walter Robinson, a consultant who has spent most of the last 15 years in and around the life sciences sector, including pharmaceutical industry associations, says the vaccine problem is only a sign of a bigger problem.
“If people just say,’Well, we need more manufacturing capacity,’ we’re not asking the right question and coming up with the wrong answer,” Robinson said in an interview.
He states that the government’s view of the life sciences sector focuses on cost control and control. Although it is the focus of legitimate public policy, he says the government should also pay attention to the “wider importance” of research and development in this area.
“The robust life sciences sector is an important part of infrastructure, with economic, health and national security benefits,” he said.
Federal Minister of Industry François Philip Champagne recently announced a $ 415 million grant to Sanofi Pastor to build a new influenza vaccine manufacturing facility by 2027. The Toronto facility, backed by the Government of Ontario, will be able to produce 76 million flu. Vaccine within 6 months.
Robinson said the minister was “honest” but only took “temporary measures.”
“Healthcare is a common national jurisdiction, and governments at all levels need to have the patience to rebuild and do this with both the innovative and generic biopharmacy sectors… It’s the big picture, and it’s a daunting task. “
Ian Lee, an associate professor at Carleton University, said pharmaceutical companies are paying close attention to where they start their businesses because of the high risks and expenses involved in research and development.
“If you are a person or group of people investing billions of dollars, where are you going? Where do you want to put your company, your factory, your business? We will place them in countries that are trying to minimize that risk, “Lee told The Epoch Times.
“These companies are investing huge amounts of money in R & D, so there is a lot of competition. And everyone agrees that R & D is great for the economy … Serious people, science. Policy analysts, economists, have never said that R & D is bad for our country. No one says so. “
Lee says the pharmaceutical industry prefers the United States, Germany and Switzerland because Canada is unwelcome.
“We said,’Oh, we don’t trust you. We … I think you’re a little shy, you’re trying to exploit all of us who are Canadians. That’s why we set up price controls, “he says.
According to Statista, Americans pay about 3.5 times more patented drugs than Canadians, but Germans and Swiss are only slightly more than Canadians, based on 2019 figures. Other equivalent countries pay less. The changes proposed by the Patent Drug Price Review Board, designed to lower drug prices in Canada, have been postponed twice and are currently scheduled to take effect on July 1.
Mark Andre Gagnon, a professor of pharmaceutical policy at Carleton College’s Graduate School of Public Policy Management, says Canada is already very friendly to pharmaceutical companies.
“I know the pharmaceutical industry basically likes this story that Canada isn’t doing enough for pharmaceutical companies,” Gagnon said in an interview. “The question is what are the additional benefits? [offered] To pharmaceutical companies to attract more R & D? “
Canada has already offered pharmaceutical companies attractive markets for drug prices, intellectual property rights, R & D tax credits, subsidies and more, but there is little reward, according to Ganyon. He said pharmaceutical companies received greater intellectual property rights under the 1988 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement on guarantees that 10% of Canada’s sales would be spent on research and development. But he said it hasn’t been so since 2000.
“More drugs don’t mean better results. In fact, it can mean worse results,” he says. “But we have a system in which financial incentives are organized in favor of overprescribing or even misprescribing. So the question is, what is the alternative?”
Ganyon said that regulations on drug safety have improved in recent years, but “because it is a performance-based risk sharing agreement, we will only pay for drugs if we determine that there are significant benefits.” Stated.