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Cost of meds to skyrocket following Canada-European Union Trade Agreement

Patent reform being used as bargaining chip at expense of Canadians' health.

Davies: Studies project EU proposed patent extension could raise CDN drug costs by $2.8 billion/yearVANCOUVER, BC, August 23, 2012: The Conservative government should remove patent reform from the negotiations of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, says New Democrat Trade Critic Don Davies.

"Changing the patent regime for pharmaceuticals is a complicated issue with deep consequences for Canadians, provincial healthcare programs, and Canadian employers," said Davies (Vancouver-Kingsway). "Studies project the patent extensions proposed by the EU could raise Canadians' drug costs by $2.8 billion a year."

Drug costs are the second leading health care costs for provinces and are rising every year. A recent report reveals that many low income Canadians cannot afford the cost of their medicines and one in four are simply not filling their prescriptions.

  "We need more transparency and more oversight into how this deal will affect our economy and our workers."

"The CETA forum, or any other trade agreement, is not the appropriate place for this debate to take place. Patent legislation and prescription medicine costs are stand-alone issues that need to be fully studied and debated in public, not behind closed doors in trade policy talks, and not traded off as a bargaining chip in these negotiations.

"The changes brought in by CETA will alter parts of the Canadian economy — and not just health care," said Davies. "We need more transparency and more oversight into how this deal will affect our economy and our workers."

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Take action! Email the Prime Minister: CETA trade deal threatens Medicare

Links and sources
  Take drug patent issues off the CETA table: NDP

Posted: September 29, 2012

  Health care
  Public services

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