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Chronic under-reporting of investment works against Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/26/14 -- A new KPMG study shows that research and development investments made by Canada's innovative pharmaceutical sector continue to be chronically under-reported by the Government of Canada at an increasing amount year-over-year.

The Summary of 2013 R&D Spending and Investments by Rx&D Members is the fourth annual report commissioned by Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) that shows an alarming disparity between what the government reports and the more than $1 billion that the industry actually invests annually. For 2013, KPMG estimates 46% of the industry's R&D investment will be overlooked by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) meaning that the official report published by the Government of Canada will be far from a true reflection of the industry's contribution to Canada.

What's at the root of this problem? The PMPRB is legislated to report Rx&D member company R&D investments to Parliament annually. They are directed to make their R&D calculations using a definition that was developed 27 years ago when the agency was established - long before mass adoption of the internet, modern-day computing, global information sharing and technological advances that have revolutionized how medical research is conducted around the world.

The PMPRB reporting definition must be updated. Industry Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the PMPRB, worked with Rx&D in 2010 to establish a mutually acceptable set of criteria. All that is needed is government action to make the regulatory change needed to allow the PMPRB to report R&D in Canada with greater precision and accuracy.

"We have a 100-year history of research and discovery right here at home - innovation that has changed the face of health care in Canada and around the world," said Russell Williams, President of Rx&D. "Once again, this report reinforces our industry's commitment to Canada and to Canadians. With more than $1 billion invested in R&D in 2013, our industry continues to be the most significant funder of life science research in Canada next to the federal government."

Why does the under-reporting of R&D in Canada matter? Attracting investment hinges upon our ability to create and sustain a Canadian environment with the right policies that allow us to compete globally and drive our knowledge-based economy. Accurately tracking and reporting this investment is an important part of that environment.

Beyond the question of reporting, Williams emphasizes that the industry has been relatively successful at maintaining its level of investment despite a very challenging environment. He reiterates the industry's commitment but suggests that Canada will have to address concerning trends related to protection for intellectual property, patient access to new medicines, regulatory burden and duplication if we hope to continue to compete for international investment.

"We know the level of investment is heading in the wrong direction. It is a constant worry for our industry and we are committed to reversing it - but it won't happen in the absence of strong public policy," added Williams. "This report reminds us that Canada's life science future hinges on our ability to create and sustain an environment that encourages investment, with the right public policies that allow us to compete globally and drive our knowledge-based economy."

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

A document is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/RxD_Report_ENG.pdf

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