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New Poll: Canadians Strongly Agree that Access to Affordable Prescription Medicines is Most Important Priority for NAFTA 2.0

Toronto, September 24, 2018 – A new poll confirms that Canadians do not want their access to generic and biosimilar medicines traded away under a new NAFTA deal.

There are several proposals on the table in the NAFTA negotiations that would require changes to Canada’s laws and delay when lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs can enter the market. This includes longer periods of data protection for expensive biologic drugs. If Canada were to adopt the proposals, every single Canadian would be negatively impacted by the billions of dollars in additional drug costs created through delayed access to generic and biosimilar medicines.

The poll found that Canadians feel that access to more affordable prescription medicines is much more important than any other area of negotiation that has dominated the media coverage of the NAFTA negotiations – including supply management system for agricultural products, automotive issues, exemptions for cultural industries and investor-state dispute resolution.

Canadians feel that NAFTA 2.0 should increase access to generic and biosimilars medicines. Canadians believe that access to affordable prescription medicines is the most important outcome of NAFTA 2.0, and four in five feel that it’s important that NAFTA revisions should not delay Canadians access to more affordable versions of expensive biologic drugs. Four in five Canadians also say it’s important that NAFTA 2.0 not create new barriers for the implementation of National Pharmacare in Canada.

Two in three Canadians say it is very important that NAFTA 2.0 does not increase prescription drug costs, delay access to affordable drugs or limit the options of prescription drug coverage.

More than 80 per cent of Canadians say it’s important that NAFTA 2.0 put Canadians’ access to affordable prescription drug coverage ahead of the profits of brand-name drug companies based in the United States.

“This poll confirms that Canadians do not support any concessions in a new NAFTA that will delay their access to more affordable generic and biosimilar medicines,” said Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. “The CGPA urges the Government of Canada to stand firm and not trade away timely access to generic and biosimilar medicines in a new NAFTA.

“Any such concessions would be harmful to Canadians, harmful to our industry and provide an enormous gift to the brand-name pharmaceutical industry – an industry that already enjoys some of the highest prices in the world for their products and some of the world’s most favourable IP laws, while making virtually no investments in Canada.”

About the Poll

The poll was conducted by Morning Consult for the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association from September 14-16, 2018, among a sample of 2,203 Adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. To learn more about the poll, please visit www.canadiangenerics.ca/newnafta/.

About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents Canada’s generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an important role in controlling health-care costs in Canada. Generic drugs are dispensed to fill more than 71 percent of all prescriptions but account for account for only 21 percent of the $28-billion Canadians spend annually on prescription medicines.

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For more information, please contact:
Jeff Connell
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333;
Mobile: (647) 274-3379
Email: jeff@canadiangenerics.ca
Website: www.canadiangenerics.ca