The Impact of Biotechnology on the Health-Care Industry
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 13 Feb 1997, p. 393-404
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The Impact of Biotechnology on the Health-Care Industry

Biotechnology and the way in which it is revolutionising modern medicine. Its impact on job creation and economic growth in Canada. The speaker's conviction that effective patent protection is absolutely critical to the continued health and vitality of this expanding industry. A brief historical perspective on biotechnology and its impact on health care. The very recent nature of modern biotechnology, stemming from the basic scientific discovery, in 1953, of Watson and Crick's determination of the double-helix structure of DNA. A credible list of significant accomplishments in the pharmaceutical sector modern biotechnology. Beneficial and innovative products to treat and prevent serious and debilitating diseases produced in the last two short decades through biotechnology. Current biotechnology-derived pharmaceutical products on the market and their worldwide sales. 284 products currently in clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and disorders. This just the tip of the iceberg; the best yet to come. The new approach to discovery of new drugs. A practical illustration of the power of these new approaches. A description of the Allelix discovery programme to develop new drugs to treat schizophrenia.132 dedicated biopharmaceutical companies across Canada, double the number since 1993 when Bill C-91 was passed. Further evidence of the explosive growth in this sector. The important role played by the biotechnical companies in providing a Canadian capability to translate basic scientific discoveries from our universities and medical schools into commercial products. Products that these firms are working on. Reasons why this sector is showing such robust growth and vitality. Why full and effective patent protection is so essential for the continued survival and growth of Canadian biopharmaceutical companies. The importance of the availability of significant financing at reasonable cost. All of the progress made in developing this industry now at risk with the parliamentary review of Bill C-91 now underway. Urging the federal government not to retreat from the progress Canada has made with Bill C-91. The need to strengthen the enforcement mechanism built into the Canadian system. The need for Canadian biopharm companies to be able to compete globally on a level playing field with companies in other countries.