This week I voted to support the passage of Bill C-393, An Act to amend the Patent Act (drugs for international humanitarian purposes) (known as the "CAMR" Bill) at second reading. Although it is not the complete answer to the problems it tries to address, it is a positive step that I feel is important to support.
Legitimate concerns have been raised about (i) assuring protection of Intellectual Property rights; and (ii) that C-393 will not, in and of itself, solve the problems encountered so far in getting affordable, much-needed drugs to the countries and people most in need. On (ii), my colleague Glen Pearson (Liberal MP, London North Centre), who has extensive experience with the challenges faced by so many sick and poor in African countries, has committed to developing other solutions to the underlying problems that won't be addressed by C-393. I wholeheartedly support him in that effort. On (i), my other colleague Marc Garneau (Liberal MP, Westmount--Ville-Marie) has raised some legitimate concerns about the protection of intellectual property rights, and I hope that further work at Committee can help address those issues.