Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association elects chair, vice chair
TORONTO — The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Monday elected Jeff Watson, president global generics at Apotex, as chair of CGPA, and Larry MacGirr, COO Pharmascience, as vice chair of CGPA.
"It is an honour to serve as Chair of CGPA, particularly during this period of change in the Canadian prescription drug market," Watson said. "We continue to face significant challenges from the pricing and regulatory changes that are occurring in the Canadian and global markets. The future of our industry's presence in Canada is dependent on how successful we are in working cooperatively with the federal and provincial and territorial governments as we navigate the changes that are now occurring."
Watson said that CGPA's focus will remain on working with Canada's provinces and territories to ensure that the national pricing framework signed between the Council of Federation and CGPA provides the stable, predictable pricing and reimbursement environment needed for generic manufacturers to continue to bring new cost-saving prescription medicines to the Canadian market.
"The pricing environment in Canada has changed dramatically over the past eight years. This has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in additional savings to our health-care system," said Watson. "These changes have, however, put significant strain on the generic pharmaceutical supply chain in Canada, including pharmacies, distributors and manufacturers."
Watson also stated that there remain significant challenges for the industry in working with federal and international regulators to ensure that rapidly evolving regulatory requirements do not threaten the ongoing supply of generic pharmaceutical products in the Canadian market and the industry's ability to research, develop and manufacture products in Canada.
"Patient safety is of paramount importance. We must work with regulators to ensure that the sweeping changes being implemented in Canada and globally are done so in a manner that does not threaten patient access and safety," Watson added.
Watson also said that CGPA will be focusing on ensuring that Canada is a viable market for the production and sale of biosimilar treatments. Clear rules for the approval and reimbursement of biosimilar products are necessary for the ongoing sustainability of both public and employer-sponsored drug plans, and to ensure that more Canadians can gain access to the treatments they need.
Watson joined Apotex in 1993 and, over the last 20 years, has held various positions within Apotex. He was appointed president of global generics at Apotex earlier this month.
MacGirr has been with Pharmascience for the past four years. Prior to joining Pharmascience, MacGirr spent 17 years in the pharmaceutical over-the-counter and medical device businesses in the United States and Canada.
"The issue of drug shortages remains a priority for CGPA. There are many domestic and international factors that have an effect on the supply of pharmaceutical products, both brand and generic," said MacGirr. "CGPA will continue to play a leadership role in bringing stakeholders to the table to mitigate the impact of shortages on patients and health-care professionals and, importantly, working to identify, address and overcome the root causes of shortages."