Post Tagged with: "pharma"

Billions at Stake if Canada Caves on Drug Patent Demands

The negotiations over a Canada – European Union trade agreement may be approaching the final stretch as both sides say they plan to wrap up the CETA talks by the end of the year. The parties have apparently reached agreement on roughly 75 per cent of the text, but the last quarter will require significant political compromise.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Canadian negotiators recently advised that there remains a sharp divide over issues such as investment rules, financial services, and taxation. Given the ongoing European financial crisis, these issues are particularly sensitive and will raise questions about how much risk the government is willing to assume in order to strike a deal.

The most contentious issue, however, is likely to be the intellectual property chapter. The revelation that provisions from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement may sneak their way into CETA generated widespread headlines throughout Europe last month with politicians and activists expressing exasperation at the clumsy attempt to secretly revive an agreement that was roundly rejected by the European Parliament.

The Canadian opposition to the chapter will come from European demands for patent reforms that could result in billions in additional health care costs due to higher pharmaceutical prices. The pharmaceutical demands are one Europe’s top priorities, but Canada has thus far refused to counter the EU proposals, creating a stalemate that has dragged on for years.

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August 14, 2012 1 comment Columns

Billions at Stake if Canada Caves on Drug Patent Demands

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 12, 2012 as Billions at Stake if Canada Caves on Drug Patent Demands The negotiations over a Canada – European Union trade agreement may be approaching the final stretch as both sides say they plan to wrap up the CETA talks by the […]

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August 14, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

CETA Update, Part One: Political Decision on Pharma Patents in the Fall

Steve Verheul, the lead Canadian negotiator for the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, provided an update on the CETA negotiations last week on a call with civil society groups. I will provide an update on the link between CETA and ACTA in part two tomorrow. This post highlights several additional details coming out of the call. First, new rounds of negotiations are scheduled for September 17 – 21 in Ottawa, followed by a round of negotiation in Brussels from October 15 – 26. Both sides say they remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached by the end of the year, though the call highlighted many ongoing areas of disagreement.

Second, when asked about the lack of transparency associated with CETA, Verheul confirmed that both the EU and Canada oppose the release of the text until the agreement is concluded. He argued that the draft text may create an inaccurate picture of where the negotiations stand and that the most difficult issues are often addressed via face-to-face discussions rather than with the exchange of text.

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August 8, 2012 3 comments News

Globe on Big Pharma R&D Failure

The Globe has a terrific masthead editorial today that notes the failure of big pharmaceutical companies to live up to their research and development commitments. It notes that those same companies are now demanding further IP reforms as part of the Canada – EU Trade Agreement.

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June 8, 2012 3 comments Must Reads

Provinces Warn Ottawa Over CETA IP Provisions

The B.C., Ontario, and Manitoba governments have reportedly expressed concern about the prospect of higher prescription drug prices as a result of the intellectual property provisions in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement.

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May 4, 2012 1 comment Must Reads