“Alberta has tremendous capacity for research.”
Innovative Medicines Canada is the industry association of the research-based pharmaceutical companies. And we support better access to medicines for patients, as well as creating an environment in Canada where investment and research can happen.
Our code of ethical standards is a support for our industry. And in order to be a member of our organization, our members have to say that they’ll abide by these code[s] of ethical practices. They are important in that they manage relationships between the industry and patients, the industry and health providers, the industry and government, and other important key stakeholders. And we have very high ethical guidelines for our industry in this country.
Alberta has tremendous capacity for research. It’s well known for quality, its excellent science, really good centres of excellence in Alberta. Another great advantage of Alberta is its willingness to partner and to bring innovations to patients and the health system. There is really good science here, and when global pharmaceutical companies are out looking for partnerships, they first and foremost look at science. And Alberta as a well-known centre of excellence.
Innovation and health innovation, whether it’s breakthrough or incremental innovation, always benefit patients. If you think back, HIV used to be a death sentence. It’s not that anymore. Hospitals no longer have gastrointestinal (GI) wards; they’ve been obsolete because of the advancements in health treatments due to pharmaceutical interventions. Some chronic diseases are better managed. Patients are able to stay at home instead of in hospitals. Patients are able to go to work instead of being at home. It’s on around tremendous benefit to patients, and health care providers get to do more interesting work, have more options for patients. That’s the bottom line, is getting more options for better treatment for patients.
The pharmaceutical industry exists to create benefits for patients. Everything that they develop as an industry, that we develop as an industry, is to ensure that patients get better access to better treatments in Canada. And that’s the bottom line. Myself, I’m interested in being in this industry because both of my parents died very young. And many years ago, there weren’t the treatments that there are today, for my parents, of fairly common diseases. And I know today that people are living longer, healthier, more productive lives with the diseases that unfortunately took my parents away from me at a young age.
I’ve always been curious and interested in innovation. I ask a lot of questions. I’m always looking for solutions, and so if my small part in assisting the industry to bring research to Alberta and better care to Albertans… I’m delighted to be part of it. If a patient is considering participating in a research study or a clinical trial, I would fully advise them to go for it. Talk to their physician, talk to their health care provider, make sure it’s the right decision for them. But it’s tremendous care and tremendous opportunity that helps not only patients but the health system.