Research Project

Defining and Promoting Valued Pharmaceutical Innovation


Canadians spend billions per year on pharmaceuticals and hundreds of millions on pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) through governments, charitable organizations, and private investment. The drug industry accounts for only 2% of the Canadian economy but more than 10% of all Canadian R&D; and while research in other sectors has decreased in recent years, pharmaceutical R&D continues to rise. The hope is that this R&D will spur pharmaceutical innovation with benefits to both societal health and economic development. The degree to which these goals are both being realized, however, is the subject of increasing debate. UBC's Program in Pharmaceutical Policy includes a series of research studies that strive to unpack the drivers of pharmaceutical R&D and to re-examine how "innovations" from this sector are defined and promoted. Researchers have been studying the definition of pharmaceutical innovations, the economics of pharmaceutical innovation and patent protection, the impact of pricing and reimbursement policy on incentives for innovation, the impact of health care policies on pharmaceutical R&D activity, and the determinants of sector-specific R&D in a local economy.

Project Team

  • Contact: Steve Morgan
  • Ruth Lopert, Pharmaceutical Policy Taskforce, Australia
  • Meghan McMahon, IHSPR, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Colleen Cunningham, Graduate Program in Economics, Simon Fraser University
  • Clare Mochrie
  • Gillian Hanley
  • Devon Greyson
  • Elizabeth Kinney

Funding and Support

  • Centre for Health Services and Policy Research
  • Health Canada