The reason that Canada cannot produce or distribute generic AIDS drugs falls directly in the lap of the Conservative government. The government of Brian Mulroney that is. It was his government that passed legislation allowing the big Pharmaceutical oligopolies to hold exclusive patents for twenty years, which puts a strangle hold on generic drug manufacturers.
The Mulroney legacy of free-trade denies a free market.
The Mulroney government brought in three pro-big pharma laws. In 1987, Bill C-22 was enacted which weakened the government's ability to use licensing arrangements to allow the public greater access to cheaper, Canadian-made generic drugs. In 1993, Bill C-91 was passed, allowing the big pharmaceutical companies, largely based in the U.S., to extend their brand name patent protection from 17 to 20 years. Also, in 1993, amendments were made to the Patent Medicines Regulations Act, giving Health Canada more tools for rejecting generic drug approval besides simply allegations of patent infringement.Big Pharma's Healthcare Fix
From a public policy perspective, the most important and relevant question regarding the pharmaceutical patent regime is whether or not it is serving the interests of Canadians.
Nearly 20 years after the introduction of Bill C-22, which gave brand-name drug companies longer periods of market monopoly, and more than 10 years after the introduction of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations of Canada’s Patent Act, it is evident that the shift in Canada’s pharmaceutical policy in favour of brand-name drug companies has been a failure in virtually every measurable outcome.
It is clear that nearly 20-years of concessions to the multi-national brand-name pharmaceutical industry by the Government of Canada has not served the interests of Canadians
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