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Pfizer Embarks on Massive Internal Reorganization

The international pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has announced a plan to break its entire structure into three segments, two focused on their Innovative line and one on their Value line.  Pfizer employs nearly 3,000 Canadians in six locations across the country, and was ranked one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2012 in a Globe and Mail survey. With products ranging from Celebrex to Chapstick, Pfizer has decided that the split will allow it the flexibility to function as three separate business entities. This is expected to come into effect in 2014, starting with countries that do not require prior union.. READ MORE »

September 7, 2013

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Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada Advocates Better Access to Innovative Treatments

In this year’s “Report Card on Cancer in Canada”, the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada praises the progress of cancer research, but asks that Canadians be given better access to these lifesaving treatments, as well as more emphasis on preventative techniques. In the fight against cancer, successfully targeting the disease means acknowledging that cancer is not a single external problem, but the result of numerous internally manufactured accidents in the cancer patient. Some are facilitated by contaminants like smoking, but today’s smart cancer treatments are tailored to figuring out and targeting the kind of cancer that has affected the patient… READ MORE »

August 20, 2013

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How Big and Little Pharmaceutical Companies Bring New Drugs to Market

For the pharmaceutical industry, small, lean and agile research firms are the growing trend. Research in the life sciences, as in the cutting edge of any field in Canada, follows a complicated path of private and government investment that mixes for-profit companies with public universities. In this trend, while the big players in the pharmaceutical industry continue to help steer the development of new drugs by providing a large amount of the capital and guidance for the emerging technology, the actual muscle behind the laboratory and clinical research is coming from independent labs with less than 100 people, which makes.. READ MORE »

August 15, 2013

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Fraser Institute Proposes International Pharmaceutical Patent Reform

The Fraser Institute, a leading Canadian public policy think tank, has joined the chorus of voices asking to extend the life of Canadian pharmaceutical patents. Their report, released this month, suggests that trade with the US and Europe would be streamlined by making the Canadian system more in unity with the two other markets. At the moment, Canada has some of the shortest patent lifespans for a developed country. Discussion on the subject is divided over whether this encourages more internal clinical research and treatment development, or less. Critics of short patent length say it makes the entire sector lose.. READ MORE »

August 10, 2013

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Life Sciences Offer Women Ground-breaking Research Opportunities

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) jobs are generally considered to be a vital part of the economy, and one of the hottest sectors for employment and education investment. As an added bonus, STEM offers a unique chance for female researchers and inventors to be on the cutting edge of this century’s new discoveries. Biological and life sciences are experiencing a global boom. From newer and better life extending and improving treatments and technologies, to expanding the understanding of the human body and its potential, medical technology that was science fiction a decade ago is taken for granted. Discoveries in.. READ MORE »

August 7, 2013

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Top Canadian Pharmaceutical App Gets International Option

Last month, My MedRec went global. If you’re not familiar with the app, My MedRec is a free system designed on behalf of pharmaceutical industry representative association Rx&D. The iPhone friendly system helps users track their medications, including dosage, timing and drug information. Additionally it creates an easily shareable data that can be sent to doctors, nurses and pharmacists, ensuring seamless medical care. The app makes a lot of sense in the face of the fact that Canadians are the leading smart phone adopters in the world. As well as having some sort of smart phone in their pocket, most.. READ MORE »

July 12, 2013

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Catastrophic Drug Plans to Span All Canadian Provinces

As of October, with the inclusion of New Brunswick, every Canadian province will have a catastrophic drug plan in place. These last resort measures protect families from medical bankruptcy and losing access to life saving treatments. There are slight variations in plans, but New Brunswick is adopting a model with no ceiling on spending for assistance. To qualify, candidates must simply exceed a certain percent of family income in drug spending. For the poorest families, this is 3% and for the wealthiest, payments in excess of 12%, assuring universal coverage for those in need, regardless of their backgrounds. This follows.. READ MORE »

July 4, 2013

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New Label Plan for Canadian Drugs

A new drug regulation was recently announced in Canada, this time controlling the packaging. That’s the Plain Language Labelling Initiative, which will be an overhaul of how drugs are described on their boxes and bottles. This new initiative aims at altering guidelines for better clarity. While pharmaceutical quality control can ensure that the contents of a package provide exactly the results they’re supposed to, it’s of equal importance to make sure healthcare professionals and consumers are also picking the right products. That means universal standards to prevent confusion between very similarly named or packaged drugs, oversight that is expected to.. READ MORE »

July 2, 2013

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Pharmaceutical Quality Control and a Recent Recall

At the end of May, four companies announced a recall on five drugs commonly sold in Canada. The recall is not about a problem with the medications themselves, as a treatment.  Amlodipine, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, lamotrigine and telmisartan are all still considered to be safe and effective in their own right. Instead, the recall affects only certain batches and lot numbers. This issue provides a case study for pharmaceutical quality control from the manufacturing side of things. No pharmaceutical company wants the bad publicity of a recall, but this incident also shows the necessary redundancies in pharmaceutical quality assurance. In this.. READ MORE »

July 1, 2013

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Rx&D Report Shows 34% Under Report Rate of Innovation Investment By Government Agencies

report by Rx&D, the Canadian association of pharmaceutical companies, confirms an ongoing trend of under-reporting of pharmaceutical innovation investment by government bodies. The report, released in May, shows a consistent 34% under-reporting rate over the past three years. Pharmaceutical research investment in Canada is tracked by two government agencies, Statistics Canada and PRPMB (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board).  The agencies work independently because they are gathering information for different mandates, and use separate methodology, but both produce similar data. However, Rx&D, which is also responsible for considerable self-regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, decided to track their own investments through studies.. READ MORE »

June 13, 2013

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