Last week Bill C-398, a Private Member’s Bill which if had passed into law would have amended the Patent Act to make it easier for Generic Companies to manufacture and export patented medicines to developing and least-developed countries to help combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria among other epidemics was defeated at second reading by a vote of 148 to 141. The full text of the bill can be found at: http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=5391829.
The defeat of this bill was a disappointment to many including Grandmothers Advocacy Network and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Grandmothers Advocacy Network and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.UNICEF Canada, Grandmothers Advocacy Network and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, among others and has been heavily criticized in the press with some describing it as “immoral” or a “travesty”. See links below:
As a patent professional, I can’t help but wonder if the defeat of this bill and the associated negative press will do damage to efforts to improve patent protection for pharmaceuticals in the Canadian market. The question is in the long term, would Innovators have gained more (in terms of public goodwill for innovation) if this bill had passed.