CIPP Seminar in collaboration with Lallemand Inc. – IP and the Canadian pharmaceutical sector; From innovation economy to corporate welfare

Speaker: Prof. Marc-André Gagnon


Marc-André Gagnon is Assistant Professor with the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. He is a Research Fellow with the Pharmaceutical Policy Research Collaboration and with the Centre d’Études sur l’Intégration et la Mondialisation. His current research focuses on innovation policy in the pharmaceutical sector, institutional corruption in medical research and comparative drug insurance regimes. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University and a Masters of Advanced Studies in Economics from Université Paris-1 Sorbonne and École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay/St-Cloud.



The Canadian brand-name pharmaceutical sector is an important part of the Canadian knowledge-based economy. Federal and Provincial governments have provided many incentives to attract pharmaceutical investment in Canada (favorable IP regime, tax credits, subsidies, high prices). Nevertheless, the sector has significantly declined in the last 10 years, and brand-name pharmaceutical companies are now requiring more favorable regulations in order to maintain their investment level in Canada. For example, they lobbied intensely for the extension of market exclusivity and patent rights for brand-name drugs through the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe. Is Canada and Quebec doing enough to attract pharmaceutical investment? What are the costs and the benefits of the current policies supporting the sector? Is it possible that current public financial subsidies are in fact costing more than the benefits we receive from the sector? Are we really building an innovation economy or are we simply providing massive corporate welfare without any proportional returns? The presentation will describe the costs of current public financial subsidies offered to the Canadian pharmaceutical sector, as compared to the benefits this sector provides to the Canadian Economy. The presentation will then look at current transformation of the innovation policy for this sector, including the withdrawal of the 15 years rule in Quebec and potential extension of market exclusivity through CETA. What could be rational reforms for the Canadian Pharmaceutical sector?

This content has been updated on August 16, 2015 at 19:46.