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May 7, 2003

Medicare Action Alert: Act Now!     May 7, 2003

As many of you know, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry has now agreed to review the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations of Canada's Patent Act, thanks in large part to the public outcry generated by health coalition activists when the Committee voted against conducting a review on March 31, 2003.

See Victory for Big Drug Makers:

See Victory for Big Drug Makers Reversed:

The Industry Committee, which  has scheduled June 2-4, 2003 for the hearings, will only hear from government and industry representatives. Because the Canadian public is not allowed to appear at the hearings, and given the fact that abuse of patent protection is a major obstacle to sustainable Medicare, it is essential that M.P.s on the Committee hear directly from citizens.

Please take a moment and write / call / visit the members of the Industry Committee. A complete list of Industry Committee members and  where they stand can be found below.

-------------------------- Letter to MPs -------------------------

Dear Mr. Lastewka, M.P.

I am writing you about a matter that seriously threatens the sustainability of our health care system: the out-of-control cost of brand-name prescription drugs. Your committee has chosen not to hear directly from Canadians on the matter of Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations  of Canada's Patent Act.
         I urge your committee to call on the government of Canada to repeal the NOC Regulations immediately. With drug costs going through the roof, it is urgent that your committee take immediate action.
         Regulations that allow brand name drug manufacturers to prolong patent monopoly beyond the 20-year term must be eliminated. This abuse, known as "evergreening," threatens the sustainability of Medicare.
         I want you to support the Romanow Commission recommendation calling for improved access to generic drugs. This measure will help contain escalating costs which threaten the future of Medicare.
         I expect the views of your electorate, and not just the views of the drug industry, to be heard and taken into account. Access to health care must come before the insatiable greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

                                                  Medicare Defender


If you send a letter, please be sure to forward a copy to the Industry Committee Chair,
Walt Lastewka  (St. Catharines), and the Canadian Health Coalition:

 Walt Lastewka, M.P.
 Chair, Industry Committee
 House of Commons
 561 Confederation Building
 Ottawa, ON   K1A 0A6
 Tel:     613-992-3352
 Fax:    613-947-4402

 Canadian Health Coalition
 2841 Riverside Drive
 Ottawa, ON   K1V 8X7
 Tel:     613-521-3400  Ext. 311
 Fax:    613-521-9638

               MPs Who Support a Review

Andy Savoy (NEW BRUNSWICK / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Tobique—Mactaquac
Telephone: 506-473-6632, Fax: 506-473-6680

Serge Marcil (QUEBEC / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Beauharnois—Salaberry
Telephone: 450-377-1050, Fax: 450-377-3448

Brian Masse (ONTARIO / New Democratic Party)
Member of Parliament, Windsor West
Telephone: 519-255-1631, Fax: 519-255-7913

Janko Peric (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Cambridge
Telephone: 519-622-9393, Fax: 519-622-9865

Brent St. Denis (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Algoma—Manitoulin
Telephone: 705-869-0059, Fax: 705-869-5341

Joseph Volpe (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Eglinton—Lawrence
Telephone: 416-781-5583, Fax: 416-781-5586

Dan McTeague (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Telephone: 905-420-7573, Fax: 905-420-4186

Larry Bagnell (YUKON / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Yukon
Telephone: 867-668-6565, Fax: 867-668-6570

               MPs Who Don't Support a Review

André Bachand (QUEBEC / Progressive Conservative)
Member of Parliament, Richmond—Arthabaska
Telephone: 819-357-7341, Fax: 819-357-7408

Paul Crête (QUEBEC / Bloc Québécois)
Member of Parliament,
Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques
Telephone: 418-868-1280, Fax: 418-868-1078

Honourable Gilbert Normand (QUEBEC / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet
Telephone: 418-248-5818, Fax: 418-248-5944

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (QUEBEC / Bloc Québécois)
Member of Parliament, Jonquière
Telephone: 418-542-1976, Fax: 418-542-1250

Marlene Jennings (QUEBEC / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Notre—Dame—de—Grâce—Lachine
Telephone: 514-489-8703, Fax: 514-489-2806

Lynn Myers (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Waterloo—Wellington
Telephone: 519-664-3195, Fax: 519-664-2940

Cheryl Gallant (ONTARIO / Canadian Alliance)
Member of Parliament, Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Telephone: 613-732-4404, Fax: 613-732-4697

Paddy Torsney (ONTARIO / Liberal)
Member of Parliament, Burlington
Telephone: 905-639-5757, Fax: 905-639-6031

Brian Fitzpatrick (SASKATCHEWAN / Canadian Alliance)
Member of Parliament, Prince Albert
Telephone: 306-953-8622, Fax: 306-953-8625

James Rajotte (ALBERTA / Canadian Alliance)
Member of Parliament, Edmonton Southwest
Telephone: 780-495-4351, Fax: 780-495-4485



 Increase in total health spending as a
 percentage of GDP for Canada from
 1985 to 2000:          0.8 %

 Increase in prescription drug costs
 in Canada from 1985 to 2000
 (unadjusted):           344 %

Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information

This Action Sheet is available electronically in PDF format on the
Canadian Health Coalition website: