The OLIP Interns recently met with Jeff Connell, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). The CGPA represents generic pharmaceutical producers in Canada and seeks to ensure that Canadians have access to prescription medication by working with governments, patients, and healthcare providers.
Before joining CGPA, Mr. Connell had a career in politics and consulting. He spent 7 years at Queen’s Park, working in both government and opposition. He then moved on to work in consulting, where he first encountered CGPA. He has been working at CGPA for 20 years and had an incredible amount of industry knowledge to share with us.
Mr. Connell described the role of generic pharmaceuticals in the healthcare system as one of increasing accessibility and affordability. Mr. Connell told us that out of the 500 million prescriptions dispensed in Canada every year, generic pharmaceuticals make up 75%, but account for only 20% of the cost. Generic pharmaceuticals also make up the bulk of the domestic manufacturing in Canada.
We were able to ask questions on a myriad of topics, including pharmaceutical approval systems, international access to prescription medications, and the complexity of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Mr. Connell used his experience in politics and at CGPA to answer each with careful detail and consideration.
We are grateful to Mr. Connell for sharing his time and perspective, and to the CGPA for their long-standing support of OLIP!