HESA Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Health
Comité permanent de la santé
For immediate release
HOUSE OF COMMONS STANDING COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO FOSTER PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BOTH IN CANADA AND GLOBALLY THROUGH OPEN SCIENCE
Ottawa, November 26, 2018 -
Bill Casey, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, presented the Committee’s twentieth report today entitled, Towards Open Science: Promoting Innovation in Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Access to Affordable Medications both in Canada and Abroad.
The Committee’s study is in response to Member of Parliament Raj Saini’s Private Members’ Motion M-132, which requested that the Committee, “undertake a study on ways of increasing benefits to the public resulting from federally funded research, with the goals of lowering drug costs and increasing access to medicines, both in Canada and globally.”
In presenting the report to the House, Chair Bill Casey highlighted that “in our testimony, we heard loud and clear that more needs to be done to strengthen research and innovation in Canada. I thank Mr. Saini for bringing forth M-132, and for his efforts in ensuring that the Health Committee can hear why Canada must continue to be a leader in this field.”
Drawing on witness testimony heard over the course of two meetings held on 16 and 18 October 2018 and on 23 written submissions, the Committee’s report examines how increased federal investment in health research, across the continuum from fundamental to clinical research, would support the development of new medicines. However, witnesses also emphasized the importance of ensuring that federal funding in pharmaceutical research and development must also result in the creation of drugs that are affordable in Canada and abroad. Witnesses suggested that this could be achieved by fostering the creation of innovative models of pharmaceutical research that prioritize open science in both the development of new drugs and the repurposing of existing drugs. Witnesses explained that the Government of Canada could lead the way by developing a framework that sets priorities for pharmaceutical research and development and promotes open science through collaboration and leveraging of funding across governments, universities, health charities and private industry.
The Committee agrees with these findings and has included in its report nine recommendations that it believes will support the transformation of pharmaceutical research and development in Canada.
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