COVID-19 highlighted the vulnerability of Canada’s healthcare systems and illuminated the central role the life sciences sector plays in economic well-being. Other nations with similar health systems are investing in life sciences strategies as an important driver of economic growth — Canada must not be left behind. To that end, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its members on the Life Sciences Strategy Council are committed to making recommendations on a life sciences policy that implemented will ensure Canada’s economy is more resilient in the face of future health threats.
Launched in 2022, the Council is made up of public and private sector leaders aligned in the pursuit of a globally competitive, integrated life sciences sector that spans the entire spectrum of activities from research to manufacturing to the commercialization of innovations.
Building a resilient health and life sciences system can be achieved through public-private partnerships, and a committed strategy that is inspired by a bold vision and shared purpose among all levels of government, industry and universities. The ingredients to implement such a strategy are known — Canada must strengthen pandemic preparedness and health system resilience, promote improved health outcomes for Canadian patients, and foster a world-class life sciences ecosystem as a driver of jobs and growth.
- Define and financially support Canada’s aspirations to enable the development and timely introduction of innovative products and systems into Canada.
- Provide funds to support the digital health strategy and facilitate data-driven advances in health care, including the development and use of real-world evidence.
- Work with provinces and territories to identify and deploy supports needed to reduce barriers to hiring highly skilled foreign talent.
- Enhance the system for foreign credential recognition and further enhance domestic skills development programs.
- Work with the sector to identify and pursue opportunities to integrate Canadian companies into global supply chains.
- Pursue an increased and diversified Canadian manufacturing footprint with local and global industry collaboration.
- Renew existing innovation support programs while introducing new, more nimble streams as well as those for higher risk ventures.
- Launch FPT collaboration on a wider framework for improved and aligned business supports.
- Establish an agile procurement implementation process to work with Canadian and multinational producers focused on piloting/deploying promising products and technologies to increase health system security.
- Focus on regulatory agility in relevant review processes (ahead of or under the new Canada Drug Agency) with a focus on adapted processes and engagement opportunities for patients and other stakeholders.
Lesia M. Babiak
Johnson & Johnson
For more information on the Life Sciences Strategy Council, please contact Kathy Megyery, Senior Vice-President, General Manager, Quebec.