Conservative values are Canadian values

| 8 Comments

Bumped for an update. Please see below. (Note: original post published yesterday evening at 8:00 pm.)

So I guess Canadians put a high value on allowing people to suffer and die needlessly. Conservatives do.

The Conservative government has defeated an effort to reform Canada's Access to Medicines Regime despite support from international medical groups and the drug industry. The bill would have made cheap generic versions of lifesaving drugs available to the world's poor but the government says it would violate Canada's trade obligations.

According to that Globe and Mail report, international legal experts have refuted the claim that the measures in this legislation, a private member's bill designated as C-398, would conflict with our trade obligations.

The only objections to the bill appear to be coming from Conservatives themselves and from Industry Canada officials. It's suggested that the latter don't fully understand how C-398 would work but it seems more likely to me that they've been ordered not to understand it.

Canadian values, ladies and gentlemen. Let the poor and diseased of the world pay full price for their prescription drugs or let them die. That'll teach them!

Update:

I just found out that Justin Trudeau was conveniently absent for this vote yesterday evening. He's already following in the footsteps of Michael Ignatieff by disappearing when he's needed most.

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8 Comments

Canadian values, ladies and gentlemen. Let the poor and diseased of the world pay full price for their prescription drugs or let them die. That'll teach them!
Sadly this includes Canadians but that is ok--the drug companies that make the original drug will make more money. And we know our governments bow to corporations.

I haven't quite decided where I sit.. it's hard to find neutral explanation of the Bill.

On the one hand, we have a generic drug mf'r that wants to help the poor (and make money).. and on the other hand we have patent holders who want to assure there is adequate incentive for them to spend money on R&D (and make a lot of money).

To simplify - if we sold copies of the Beatles "Abbey Road" and paid Paul McCartney nothing for it - but gave the money to Rawanda and told Paul, "tough luck".. would such a law be acceptable?

Paul doesn't need the money.

He's already made a pile of money on his records.

And the relative need of the poor is astronomical.. I'm not saying such a law would be a bad thing, but it makes you think a little differently.

From the Globe article:

But even Canada’s brand-name drug manufacturers said they were not opposed to seeing Bill C-398 progress through Parliament.

So are Conservatives protecting corporate interests even when the corporations are saying they don't need the protection?

Supporters of the proposed legislation said the government had engaged in a prolonged campaign of misinformation and intimidation of its members to ensure that the proposed legislation was defeated.

A very similar bill had passed in the Commons and gone to the Senate where it died when the last election was called. Apparently at that time there were 24 Conservative votes in favour. Last night there were 7. It sounds like CPC HQ worked over a few of its own to block this. Since even the pharma companies didn't object, it's difficult to come up with a motivation other than kneejerk ideology.

True enough, but not well discussed is the fact that Canadian drug mfr's hold almost no patents.. they are, by and large, generic mfr's.. so it would make sense that they woudl support the bill.

As I say - I'm not sure I'm opposed, and am not sure big pharma needs the protection they suggest.. but it's not quite as simple as wanting to help the poor or not.. at least I don't think it's quite that simple.

I think it is. The name-brand pharmaceutical companies are not, last I checked, poor. And they lose little from such bills. By and large it's not a question of Rwandans buying the expensive name-brand medicines (and theoretically funding research) or else, if allowed, buying the cheap ones. It's a question of Rwandans buying the cheap ones or nothing, because they simply can't afford the expensive ones, so they ain't gonna be financing a whole hell of a lot of research nohow. Or to put it a different way, it's a question of them not buying the expensive stuff and therefore dying, or not buying the expensive stuff but being able to live anyway. Anyone who finds this a hard choice does not have my respect.

If the Conservatives were really, really concerned about the capacity of the poor dear pharma companies to do research, there are things they could add to the bill. They could have an estimate done of how much, if anything, the bill would cost the pharma companies and how much of that money would have been expected to go into research (as opposed to say advertising and lobbying) and they could set aside a fund to either subsidize big pharma's research that amount or, better yet, have that much research done at universities and other public facilities where more important research is done more efficiently.

Could be about CETA too. Pharma issues are a sticking point.
http://www.lapresse.ca/html/1633/Document_UE_2.pdf

I believe that would be the same portion of CETA that threatens to cost Canadians additional billions for health care.

Who do these Conservatives work for again?

Here's another article that may be of interest.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MAGAZINE: How Drug Company Money Is Undermining Science
The pharmaceutical industry funnels money to prominent scientists who are doing research that affects its products--and nobody can stop it
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=55&ms=NDA2MjA4ODQS1&r=NTM5ODMzOTUxOQS2&b=2&j=MTY5MTMzNzQxS0&mt=1&rt=0

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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on November 29, 2012 10:38 PM.

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