NDP celebrate passing of “Medicine for All” Bill
OTTAWA –People looking to Parliament for tangible results have a lot to celebrate today. The New Democrat “Medicine for All” bill passed the final vote in the House of Commons, bringing Canada one step closer to following through on international commitments to make affordable medicines available in developing countries.
“I am delighted with Parliament’s decision to adopt our legislation,” said Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “Each day sixteen thousand people die in the developing world from treatable illnesses like TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Tonight, Canadians can be proud that we’ve taken a significant step to save lives.”
Bill C-393 is a landmark effort to fix Canada’s stalled Access to Medicines Regime. On paper, CAMR allows generic producers to create low-cost versions of brand-name drugs for developing countries. However, due to CAMR’s onerous per-order licensing process, just one drug order has been shipped since it launched in 2004. Bill C-393 fixes that fatal flaw with a “one-license solution”.
“New Democrats moved mountains to make sure this bill stayed alive,” said New Democrat Industry Minister Brian Masse (Windsor West). “We share this victory with the tens of thousands of Canadians who have supported and helped push this bill along.”
C-393 was adopted by a majority of MPs from every party in the House. It is now reported to the Senate where it will be shepherded by Senator Sharon Carstairs.
“There is no reason for the Senate to delay the passage of this bill,” said Dewar. “The provisions in C-393 should be secured by the Senate as soon as possible.”