Report Says Canada – EU Trade Deal Could Cost Ontario $1.2 Billion Per Year From Higher Pharma Costs

The Drummond Report is attracting significant attention with its somewhat dire outlook for the Ontario economy. The report includes a notable warning about the costs of the proposed Canada – EU Trade Agreement, particularly the increased costs arising from patent reforms being promoted by large pharmaceutical companies:

The outcome of the negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union could have significant impact on the cost of prescription drugs in Ontario. A key negotiating point, the extension of Canadian patent protections for pharmaceutical drugs to European standards, could cost Ontario taxpayers up to $1.2 billion annually ($551 million for the Ontario government and $672 million for the private sector), thus wiping out gains from recent drug reforms. The province should work with the federal government to ensure that a CETA does not undermine Ontario’s interest in expanding the use of generic drugs.

With Ontario searching for ways to bring down its deficit, it is increasingly apparent that including patent reforms within Canada’s trade agreement will have a damaging impact that adds billions of dollars to provincial health care costs.


  1. Patrick Fafard says:

    Associate Professor, GSPIA, University of Ottawa
    Alas, Drummond does not appear to provide the source for this estimate. Anybody know where the projection comes from?

  2. Patrick Fafard says:

    Associate Professor, GSPIA, University of Ottawa
    Turns out it is a study done for the generic pharma industry.

    Good summary here:

  3. Extension Reform
    Sigh… I know ‘reform’ can technically mean change either way, but it would be nice if ‘reform’ can be used only when it means a positive (for the public) change. A patent term extension would therefore not qualify as a ‘reform’ but rather as an ‘impairment’.

    Remember from a while back? EU: “We hope that the negotiation of the bilateral CETA will provide a good opportunity to exert pressure on Canada regarding the upgrade of its IPR regime”

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