Bill C-398 - Just say No!

Diogenes's picture

Who says that Canadians aren't politically engaged?

The campaign to pass Bill C-398 continues. The raging grannies of the Grandmother's Advocacy Network have their petition campaign in full swing now.

MP's from across the country and all parties have proudly stood in the House of Commons to proclaim their support for this sham bill.

The Red Riding Hood Gallery

Stay tuned - There will be more in the days to come.

Bill C-398, An Act to amend the Patent Act will relax the rules for compulsory licensing of patented drugs. A few questions should be asked here.

What is compulsory licensing?

Compulsory allows a company to legally copy a patented drug and pay only minimal licensing fees to the patent holders while the drug is still under patent protection.

Why would the law allow for this?

For humanitarian purposes. In Canada the current law is called the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). It has been used in the past to supply AID's medicine to Rwanda. Other countries have similar compulsory licensing laws for humanitarian purposes.

Why should Canada relax it licensing laws?

That is a very good question and one that is not answered.

The advocates of this bill claim that Canadians have the opportunity to it save millions of lives in around the world and it will not cost Canadians a loonie. It's free humanitarian aid. All we have to do is pass Bill C-398.

It's all pretty amazing stuff. More information is posted here.

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We have grandmothers across the country asking people to sign petitions demanding changes to Canada's patent law. There is a slick website, generous media coverage, Facebook groups and YouTube videos.

But every now and then even the best dressed PR campaigns slip a little, having one of those occasional wardrobe malfunctions where a little to much is revealed. Here is a screenshot from one of those YouTube videos

This campaign to pass Bill C-398 is nothing but a brazen effort by Canada's home grown Big Pharma to open up a new world market for cheap copycat drugs.

Canada's real Big Pharma players belong to the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). They are a very powerful lobby group that make many claims that generics save Canadians money.  But the CGPA never bothers to explain why Canadians have some of the highest priced generic drugs in the world.

They really want to see Bill C-398 pass because they hate patents and they hate regulations. Canada has a long history of compromised patent protection for medicines. The Big Pharma in Canada have made billions exploiting these weaknesses in the past.  Now they want to do it again.

Bill C-398 will not save millions of lives. If it was this easy, why aren't other countries amending their laws? Maybe the CGPA will claim that Canada just has the best legal minds in the world?

Kill Bill 398. Tell Canada's Big Pharma to play by the rules.



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