Canada must improve protection of IP to be part of trans-pacific free trade E-mail

Negotiations began in 2007 for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement amongst countries, more or less, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. Canada, after having been an observer at first, formally joined the TPP on October 8, 2012. The TPP market (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam) is collectively larger than the EU, includes are largest trading partners (the US and Mexico), and includes some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

In addition to eliminating tariff barriers the TPP touches upon a number of legal issues, as well, in the hopes of harmonizing legislative and regulatory regimes as much as possible in order to promote trade, and open up markets. One of these issues revolves around the protection of intellectual property rights (IP).

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Canada must improve protection of IP to be part of free trade with EU E-mail

Canada is in the midst of negotiating a free trade deal with the EU known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which would cover the free trade of goods and services between Canada and EU member states as well as a harmonized regime for the protection of intellectual property rights (IP). This has the potential of becoming the single biggest boost to Canada’s economy since the ratification of NAFTA. The EU is Canada’s largest trading partner after the US.

The IP provisions of CETA have been the most hotly debated by both sides with each side having to make adjustments to their regulatory regimes to reach harmonization. The largest step forward from Canada, so far, was the re-writing of its copyright law. But there are a number of outstanding issues including the one around pharmaceutical patents.

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Canada ranks poorly in protection of IP E-mail

The US Chamber of Commerce today released its International IP Index entitled Measuring Momentum. Even though Canada is a high income country, it does not compare well with its sister high income, English-speaking countries, namely, the US, the UK and Australia. In fact we are more comparable to middle income countries like Mexico, Malaysia and Russia when it comes to our national protection of intellectual property (IP). Canadians should be embarrassed and outraged.

Measuring 25 different variables of IP protection, the US scored 24, the UK 22, and Canada 14 – placing us closer to India (which scored 8 and was at the bottom of the 11 leading economies surveyed) than to our natural comparators.

If Canada is ever to embrace the innovation-led, knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, and grow beyond our heritage or “hewers of wood and drawers of water”, then it needs to engage in 21st century protection of intellectual property.

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Finding Canada’s healthcare equilibrium E-mail

Healthcare Management Forum, Summer 2012

By: D. Wayne Taylor, PhD, FCIM

Economic equilibrium, in which demand for health services is in balance with supply, is an elusive phenomenon in advanced healthcare systems worldwide, yet some countries have come closer to economic stasis than Canada. In 2008, the Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index ranked Canada 30th out of 30 countries studied for value for money. Wait times were Canada’s weakest spot, and, in terms of system design, context, and economics, there was clear evidence that Canada’s healthcare system was out of equilibrium. Canadians can learn from Austria. If Canada expects better value for its healthcare dollar, then cost drivers need to be addressed in a design overhaul. Only then will Canada approach equilibrium.

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Natural selection: the evolution of patient engagement E-mail

Contribution to PolicyMatters.ca from Harlon Davey, Patient Associate of The Cameron Institute

I remember first year Biology at UofT . In one lab exercise we studied gaming theory to test the hypothesis that altruism benefited a population and the scientific method confirmed it was true.

Something wonky happened on the way to government policy and sadly many aspects of how we make decisions and what we consider as evidence in decision making in health care has lost its connection to the value of life and the human experience, elements that are hard to capture and contain as evidence.

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Nearly half of Canadians are expected to contract cancer at some point during their life. It's a sobering statistic, and a costly one too.

Although many cancer treatments are covered by Ontario's health system, several are not.  In a special series airing this week, CTV's Rosie Del Campo shares the stories of some of those who have fallen through the cracks.

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