In the March 2012 issue of Policy Options released by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley and economics professor Kristina Lybecker write an article calling for Canada to strengthen its pharmaceutical intellectual property protection. Crowley and Lybecker say, "Strengthening Canada's intellectual property framework to reflect global best practices is not only a likely prerequisite to accessing billions of dollars of new trade, but is essential to fostering research investment and accelerating the development of new medicines." They recommend four changes to Canadian legislation based on the legislative differences across the seven countries with the highest levels of research and development spending by the world's largest innovative pharmaceutical companies: Canada, the United States, the European Union, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Brazil. Their recommendations are outlined below:

1. Canada needs orphan drug legislation to encourage R&D for rare diseases.

2. Canada needs more expansive data exclusivity protection.

3. Canada should extend patent protection to accomodate for delays from regulatory approval.

4. Canada should strengthen its anti-counterfeiting legislation.

To read the full article, click here.

The article, "Improving Canada's drug patent protection: Good for Canada, good for trade", is drawn substantially from "Intellectual Property Law and the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Analysis of the Canadian Framework," Lybecker's contribution to The Economics of Intellectual Property Protection in the Pharmaceutical Sector, the second instalment in MLI's Pharmaceutical Series.