A report released by the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) has suggested making improvements to its intellectual property regime to attract research and investment in the pharmaceutical sector.

The report recommends improvements made to three areas, including providing internationally competitive protection for data produced by innovators, levelling the playing field between innovative pharmaceutical companies and generics, and protecting discovers from regulatory and approval delays.

The EU is requesting that Canada improve intellectual property rights in order to attract investment, with negotiations aimed at expanding trade for the country.

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said, “Canada’s pharmaceutical industry is doing all it can to attract investment, but it cannot do it alone.”

In October 2010, the Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada called on the country to adopt a stronger intellectual property regime as party of a ten-point action plan to encourage job creation.

However, the findings of the report were not well received by Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, who responded with a statement saying, “It is unfortunate that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has chosen to advocate on behalf of brand-name drug companies for longer periods of market exclusivity in Canada.”

The generic association believes the government has chosen the narrow economic interests of brand-name drug companies over the interests of Canadian employers that funds drug benefit plans for employees.

Opposition to the scheme believe the brand-name drug makers’ proposals endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will add billions of dollars to the cost of prescription drugs for provincial governments, patients and Canadian businesses.