New Canadian Patent Law Promotes R&D

It looks like a change in Canadian patent law is achieving its goal increased R&D spending by pharmaceutical firms. Last November, the government decreed that the makers of generic drugs could no longer copy new drugs as soon as the pharmaceuticals hit the market, but instead must wait 10 years. In return for this guarantee of increased revenues, drug firms promised to double their R&D spending over the next decade. And last month the Canadian government got exactly what it hoped for: on October 24 Glaxo Canada Limited; the country’s second largest pharmaceutical firm, announced that it would make its first foray into basic research. “Had it not been for (the strengthened] patent protection, Glaxo would not pay? Considered such research activities in Canada” said Glaxo Canada president Jacques Lapointe. Glaxo has entered into an $8.2 million, five-year, joint venture with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals a...

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