Our House is Open: NDP calls for prescription cost protection

Acting NDP Health Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John's Centre) called today on Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan to take a stand to keep the cost of prescription drugs as low as possible.

Minister Sullivan is meeting with other federal, provincial and territorial health ministers today. On the agenda will be the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated. One of the demands being made is that Canada extend the patent period for brand-name prescription drugs. This means that the time before generic, lower-cost, drugs can be manufactured would be extended. In this province alone, this would mean almost $50 million every year added to the public and private drug costs.

“I'm asking Minister Sullivan to do the right thing and stand up for the people in this province,” Rogers said today. “Canadian health ministers have previously resisted such moves in other trade deals and I hope Minister Sullivan will continue that opposition.”

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NDP Caucus: “Our House is Open”
Question for Nov. 24, 2011
Gerry Rogers, MHA, St. John's Centre
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Community Services.
In the trade agreement currently being negotiated with Europe, Canada is being pressured to extend the time pharmaceutical companies hold monopolies in the marketplace.
In this province alone, that could mean $46.4 million every year added to public and private drug costs.
Health ministers in this province and across the country have always strongly opposed such measures in the past.
Mr. Speaker I ask the Minister, as she meets with her counterparts across the country today, will she fight against trade deals that will increase drug costs for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?

Associated Caucus Members: 

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