Getting the Regime Right – Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology regarding Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime

Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime is not delivering on the country’s pledge to help developing countries get affordable medicines. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network recommends a number of changes that will help fix the current, flawed Regime.

Our central recommendation would replace the existing process for obtaining a compulsory licence with something considerably more streamlined and user-friendly — and hence more likely to be effective — while respecting Canada’s obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

We also recommend a number of additional reforms that would eliminate some of the unnecessary and counterproductive features currently hindering the efficacy of the Regime; some of these changes would be moot if the compulsory licensing mechanism we recommend were to be adopted, while others are relevant to whichever mechanism appears in Canada’s law.