MP defends her government’s stance on Bill C-398

The proposed amendments in Bill C-398, while laudable in their intentions, will not result in greater exports to the developing world

Editor, The Times:

Re: Michael Crawford’s letter of Dec. 27 (‘MP McLeod sides with Big Pharma’), which questions my position on Bill C-398, a private member’s bill that would have revised Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR).

The proposed amendments in Bill C-398, while laudable in their intentions, will not result in greater exports to the developing world.

Beyond the fact the amended bill would be in contravention of Canada’s international agreements, Canada is not a low-cost producer of generic drugs and cannot be expected to compete against countries like India.

It is estimated that India supplies 80 per cent of donor-funded antiretrovirals to developing countries.

Canada has been a strong supporter of global mechanisms to finance procurement and delivery of essential medicines, including $540 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2001 to 2013; $149.6 million to the Global Drug Facility of the Stop TB Partnership to procure quality-assured anti-tuberculosis drugs; and $450 million (over 10 years) to the Africa Health Systems Initiative.

These and other global efforts are contributing to positive outcomes.

Globally, more than eight-million people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries were receiving HIV antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2011.

This represents a 25-fold increase from 2002.

Cathy McLeod,Conservative MP

 

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo