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Lib. (ON)
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we are doing an examination in view of strengthening economic relations between Canada and Asia.
We have with us Mr. Charles Barrett and David MacDuff from the Conference Board of Canada.
I want to welcome both of you. We will start with a brief presentation, and then we'll open up the floor for some questions and answers.
Mr. Barrett.
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much.
Now we will open the floor for questions.
Mr. Duncan.
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Lib. (ON)
Mr. Eyking.
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Lib. (ON)
Mr. Simard.
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Lib. (ON)
Sure, no problem.
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Lib. (ON)
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Lib. (ON)
Mr. MacDuff.
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much.
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Lib. (ON)
Final question, Mr. Eyking.
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Barrett and Mr. MacDuff. It was a most positive presentation.
If on reflection there are some other specific suggestions you would like to bring to the attention of the committee that we can recommend to the government in order to improve on trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, that would be most helpful. If you hear of anybody who might have some ideas or specific suggestions, also please inform them that we are very much interested in hearing from them.
So thank you very much again.
We are going to move in camera for one agenda item. We'll call this portion of the meeting to a close.
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much. I'm not a member of this committee but I'm quite interested in what's taking place today.
I'm sure our witnesses would agree that whatever we do, it would have to be fair to everyone, fair to those who spend billions of dollars on innovation in order to introduce a product to the market, and fair to those who, by law, have a right at some point in time to come in and reproduce and put on the market a product.
I suppose, Mr. Chair, I have two questions and they're quite simple, both of them.
Mr. Keon was making a reference to the exclusivity of a product here on the Canadian market as compared to that of the United States, and I'm not sure whether or not he has taken into consideration the period for patent approval in the United States, something like up to six months, while here in Canada it would take up to about two years.
So if we were to take those additional two years and add them to what happened between the United States and Canada, we would find that in Canada in fact a company has an exclusivity of approximately 10.8 to 11 years while in the United States they have something like 12 years. In the United Kingdom they have 15 years. In France they have 19 years. At least, those are the figures that I am aware of. I suppose if we were to take those figures, wouldn't the witnesses, Mr. Chair, agree that under those circumstances the generic pharmaceutical companies already have a chance to get on the market faster here in Canada than in the United States or than in the United Kingdom or France?
I wanted to ask the witnesses, how do their generic products compare when you introduce a product on the market? Do you introduce it faster here or do you introduce it faster in the U.S. or in France? How do you compare in terms of new products that you put on the market?
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Lib. (ON)
Just a small question. Would the witnesses agree that once their product is on the market and that of the brand name, the system in fact does support the generic, that the system is in fact a lot more sympathetic to the generic than they are to the brand?
I know personally. I have had a number of experiences, and I'm sure my colleagues have too, where when you want to buy a drug on the market, it seems to me the pharmacists seem to really want to pull out the generic, because the system as such sympathizes with you more.
Wouldn't you think that, in essence, it works to advantage in the situation where a brand name pharmaceutical wants to protect the integrity of their invention? Of course, then I would want to give you a hard time too, because I spent a lot of money trying to create a product and I want to make sure nobody copies the product. I'm going to do everything at my disposal to keep those who want to copy my product for the duration of the time I'm allowed by law.
So you may find yourself frustrated in one area, but at the end of the day you are in pretty good shape, don't you think?
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Lib. (ON)
I so move.
(Motion agreed to)
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I'm quite happy when I hear Ms. Ellis mention that out of the 1,600 sites, there are--how many sites did you say you have taken action on?
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Lib. (ON)
For the balance you're looking at setting up an action plan?
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