Gifts for Big Pharma

Not sure how this one was missed by the filters. Thanks to Paul Willcocks for the snag:

… [T]he Harper government – acting on an initiative started by the Liberals – pushed up health-care costs by handing big pharmaceutical companies a three-year extension on drug patents, preventing low-cost competition. The new rules affect about 25 per cent of prescription drugs and extend patent protection from five to eight years. Federal NDP health critic Penny Priddy – a former B.C. health minister – called the change a “gift” to big pharmaceutical companies. Generic drug companies say the change will cost the public – and provincial Pharmacare plans – about $120 million a year.

I could go on a Dean Baker-esque rant about how unnecessary this is, how it is the antithesis of competive markets, how this will have no beneficial secondary impacts (such as more R&D done in Canada) and so forth, but instead I guide you to Dean’s Beat the Press.

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