Download the full report (66 Kb): Canada’s Pharmaceutical Balance of Trade (PDF)
The purpose of this study is to develop an economic analysis of the Canadian balance of trade in pharmaceuticals. The study presents historical trends in pharmaceutical trade, makes comparisons with other high technology sectors, and outlines opportunities and challenges for the future.
- Exports have increased at almost twice the annual rate of imports over the last 6 years – 30% per year compared with 18.8%.
- Exports by Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada (PMAC) member companies represented approximately 80% of pharmaceutical exports in 1995, with annual increases averaging approximately 32% since 1991.
- Exports by the generic industry have increased an average of 52% per year since 1991.
- Since 1993, the increase in Canada’s trade deficit in pharmaceuticals has slowed to approximately 5% per year from its 1981 to 1993 annual average of 18% and was only 3.8% in 1996.
- The improvement in Canada’s pharmaceutical trade deficit has coincided with the strengthening of Canada’s patent laws and increased R&D expenditures in Canada.
- At current rates of growth in exports and imports, increases in Canada’s pharmaceutical trade deficit would end in the year 2004 and the deficit eliminated by the year 2008.
- A further strengthening of patent protection through the introduction of patent term restoration would bring Canada’s patent laws in line with its major trading partners, and promote further growth in the industry, including exports.