In Debate: CETA & Drug Costs

CETA Drug Costs

Mme Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NPD): Monsieur le Président, je remercie beaucoup ma collègue de son discours. Elle est une femme très dévouée envers sa communauté. D'ailleurs, elle m'en apprend tous les jours, et je l'en remercie. Elle est aussi la porte-parole du NPD en matière d'anciens combattants.

    Dans son discours, elle a mentionné l'impact que l'accord entre le Canada et l'Union européenne aurait sur la hausse du coût des médicaments. J'aimerais qu'elle me donne ses impressions par rapport aux répercussions que cela aura sur sa communauté et sur les anciens combattants. Souvent, ces derniers souffrent de blessures physiques ou psychologiques et ils doivent prendre des médicaments.

    D'après elle, quels impacts cela aura-t-il sur la vie de ces gens-là?

 

    Ms. Irene Mathyssen: Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague. She is absolutely indefatigable, in terms of how she cares for her constituents.

    I must say that her concern about the cost of pharmaceuticals is well-placed.

     In addition to the veterans in our community, people who gave their health and a great part of their lives and their families' lives to service for this country will indeed be adversely affected if they have to pay the horrendous costs of pharmaceuticals as prices increase because of the protectionism that is inherent in CETA.

    This applies to seniors, as well.

    It is interesting. Under NAFTA, the agreement was said it would reduce costs in this regard and that it would promote investment by pharmaceutical companies and promote research and development of new pharmaceuticals in Canada. it did nothing of the sort.

     In fact, the investment in Canadian research declined significantly. Pharmaceutical companies are protected, they do not have to do the work, they can simply recycle the same old drugs with a slight different formulary and continue to make excessive profits.

    This is not a deal that Canadians can accept.