Published Online: Monday, January 1, 2007

Generic drug companies in Canada are protesting controversial new patent rules that they say will give branded drug makers in their country an unnecessarily long period of market exclusivity. Under rules issued to implement the new legislation, brand-name drug companies are provided with an 8-year ban on generic competition, regardless of whether there are relevant patents on their products. According to generic leaders, if this 8-year ban had been in force during the past 5 years, it would have added $600 million to the country's prescription drug costs and denied Canadians access to generic versions of many blockbuster drugs.

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