News Release Archive

The departments of Health and Economic Development and Tourism
have jointly submitted a letter to the parliamentary standing
committee on industry seeking changes to the Patent Act Amendment
Act, Bill C-91.

"We want changes made to Bill C-91 so it will work in the best
interests of Nova Scotians," said Health Minister Bernie
Boudreau. "We recognize the importance of patent protection to
give Nova Scotians access to new prescription drugs but at the
same time we want to ensure Nova Scotians are protected from high
drug costs."

The changes being requested to Bill C-91 include ensuring Nova
Scotians the earliest possible access to generic drugs;
recommending better price controls on all drugs, not just
patented drugs, and increasing research and development
investment in Nova Scotia to help create jobs.

"Increasing research and development initiatives in the province
is one of our key projects," said Richie Mann, minister of
economic development and tourism. "The changes we are seeking to
Bill C-91 will help to generate additional revenues and jobs for
Nova Scotians."

The parliamentary standing committee on industry is currently
conducting the mandatory review of Bill C-91 respecting
pharmaceutical patent protection. Bill C-91 became law in
February 1993.

One section of the act, the 20-year patent protection, is not
included in the current review because it is tied to
international trade agreements such as the North American Free
Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.


Contact: Sue McKeage
         Department of Health

         Rick Alexander
         Economic Development and Tourism

trp                 Apr. 15, 1997 - 3:45 p.m.