Trade Agreements and Pharmaceutical Patent Protection: Implications for the Governance over Pharmaceutical Products in Canada

Danalyn Byng


This paper was prepared for a course on Canadian health policy. Its purpose is to expose the harmful ramifications of international trade agreements on the pharmaceutical market in Canada and the governance surrounding this market. This paper will explore the various implications that trade agreements have on the affordability of drugs, the strength of intellectual property protection, and the transfer of authority and influence from government to “Big Pharma.” This paper will unravel the reality that trade agreements are not beneficial to the Canadian people looking to access an affordable pharmaceutical market, but rather, act quite contrary to this. Facts will show that trade agreements work to put money into the pockets of large brand-name pharmaceutical companies in the forms of billions of dollars of revenue and profit. This paper will encourage readers to question the feasibility of extending patent legislation for brand-name pharmaceutical products, the increasing role of trade agreements and the pharmaceutical industry in Canada, and the substitutability of brand-name drugs over cheaper generic alternatives.

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