As reported on September 13, 2010 in the National Post, representatives of Canadian generic companies, including Apotex, Teva and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association are warning that lower prices for generic medicines could backfire. In particular, they claim that without changes to the patent system and pricing regimes, generic firms may be forced to stop making products in Canada and move their manufacturing overseas. In addition, as profit margins fall, generic companies say that they will be less likely to launch the costly court actions required to get generics on the market early. In response to these arguments, Russell Williams, president of Canada’s Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) points out that Canadian generic process have long been among the steepest anywhere and that, if anything, the brand-name industry needs more protection from the patent system, especially given that it is increasingly making drugs that target smaller patient populations and therefore have lower sales. Asked to comment, Mark Rovere, of the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank, noted that generics are still doing better under the lower prices recently mandated by Ontario than they would be in a free market.

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