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Drug Companies Want EU Deal

Canadian drug companies are attempting to swing a deal via the European Union that will enable them expand their patent rights and send Canadian drug prices skyrocketing. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) believes that big Canada drug companies are using negotiations currently underway in Ottawa for a Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to essentially gain new patent rights they have been unable to get from Canada’s own parliament.

“It’s no surprise that all big corporations want the negotiations for CETA to succeed because it will limit the right of governments to control corporate actions,” says NUPGE Secretary Treasurer Larry Brown, “but there is self interest and then there is crass and excessive self interest… Canada’s patent laws already give Big Pharma some pretty amazing protection, but this doesn’t seem to be enough for them and they’re now trying to expand their patent rights under this international trade deal. If they succeed, brand name drug prices will skyrocket even higher and that will cost our public health care system and Canadians billions of dollars.” Brown also says that the Canada drug companies know “The proposals wouldn’t stand a chance in Canada’s parliament , so the brand name drug giants want to use the proposed Canada-EU deal to get what they couldn’t get directly. They want the trade deal to cancel the right of Canadians to have a say in how the drug industry operates. Our governments need to stand up for Canadians – and for their own right to make democratic decisions. They need to tell the drug companies that they can’t go to Europe to get through the back door what would never be agreed to in an open debate in Canada”.

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