CETA trade deal threatens Medicare
Europe, on behalf of the big pharmaceutical companies, is pushing for Canada to lengthen the period of its monopoly drug patents and delay the availability of lower-priced generic drugs. The proposed changes would add almost $3 billion annually to Canada’s drug bill.
Canada’s high prescription drug prices are already a barrier to medically necessary medicines for millions of Canadians, and CETA will only make the situation worse.
A second threat to Canada’s public health care system in the CETA negotiations is the European demand that Canada weaken NAFTA protections that shield Canada’s health care system from international trade deals. We fought hard to get these protections and want them strengthened, not eroded.
If the Harper government is going to pursue a deal, it must negotiate a carve-out for Canada’s health care system that says “nothing in the CETA shall be construed to apply to measures adopted or maintained by a party in relation to the health sector or public health insurance”.
Canadians want the public health care system protected and improved, not traded away.
Wondering about CETA and drug costs? Don’t bother asking the Health Minister!
Canada-EU Trade Agreement: Harper negotiates higher drug costs, seniors and provinces to pay the bill
Special to the Hill Times, November 19, 2012
- How Well is Public Health Care Protected from Canada-EU Free Trade?
- Over 80 European and Canadian organizations demand an end to Canada-EU free-trade talks
- Proposed EU-Canada trade agreement raises health concerns in both Canada and European Union
- The CETA and Health Care Reservations: A briefing note for the Canadian Health Coalition, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
- Canadian Health Coalition letter to the Federal Minister of International Trade.
- Read the briefing note on the potential impact on costs of brand-name drugs from CETA.
- Read the new study – CETA: An Economic Impact Assessment of Proposed Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Provisions.
- Read the Globe and Mail article: “EU trade deal could cost Canadian drug plans billions”.
- CETA Trade Deal Discussion (Power and Politics with Evan Solomon, November 22, 2012)
- Costly extension (The StarPhoenix, November 22, 2012)
- Canada-EU Trade Agreement: Harper negotiates higher drug costs, seniors and provinces to pay the bill (Hill Times, November 19, 2012)
- Canada-EU free trade negotiations come down to cheap drugs (AFP, September 20, 2012)
- Patent protection emerges as contentious issue in Canada-EU trade talks (Canadian Press, September 16, 2012)
- Strong majority of Canadians oppose drug patent extension in Canada-EU trade deal: poll (Media Release, September 16, 2012)
- Patent protection for drugs should come at a price (Winnipeg Free Press, August 28, 2012)
- Premiers urge Harper not to agree to anything in CETA that would drive up drug costs (Canadian Press, June 4, 2012)
- Perplexing silence hangs over proposed Canada, E.U. trade pact (Globe and Mail, July 16, 2011)
- Watchdog: deal will boost drug prices (Toronto Star, June 26, 2011)
- EU trade deal could cost Canadians billions (Open Letter to the BC Premier, June 21, 2011)
- EU trade deal could cost Canadian drug plans billions (Globe and Mail, February 2, 2011)