Hidden among the many recommendations of the Drummond Commission is a surprise warning about the pitfalls of a Canada-European Union Free Trade Agreement.
Drummond points out that the $500 million in savings from the government’s generic drug pricing reforms could be wiped out if the province’s interests are not protected by the Harper government.
Harmonizing patent protection for brand-name drugs to European standards would keep generic drugs off the market for a longer time.
Drummond highlights the findings of a study done by Aidan Hollis (University of Calgary) and Paul Grootendorst (University of Toronto) who noted that if all three of the EU pharmaceutical intellectual property proposals are adopted, it will cost Ontarians up to $1.2 billion annually. Slightly less than half — $551 million, would be added cost to the government, whereas the rest would come out-of-pocket and from private employer health plans.