Mr. Speaker, in the last few months I have heard from many stakeholders about Bill C-398. I have met with brand name and generic pharmaceutical companies. I have met with NGOs. I have met with so many Canadians who want to see this bill passed. In the last week, alone, I have received over 2,800 emails of support in my office. The grandmothers have collected over 23,000 signatures in support of this bill through their cross-Canada petitions.
Bill C-398 has the support of more than 80 international NGOs, including Médecins sans Frontières, Apostolic Faith Mission in Lesotho, the Church of Scotland, and the U.K.'s Stop AIDS Campaign. Within Canada, there are over 250 NGOs and community groups in support of this, including World Vision, Results Canada, AQOCI, Care Canada, UNICEF, Oxfam, and organizations, such as the City of Prince Albert and the HIV Network of Edmonton. We have the support of faith leaders across the country.
We know that generic manufacturers support this bill, and they are ready to provide a one-dose AIDS medication for children should this bill become law. Importantly, the brand name pharmaceutical companies of Canada have written to us to say that they do not oppose this legislation.
Like us, like all the others, Rx&D want to make CAMR work. They have stated their guiding principles and we are in agreement with them. These include transparency with respect to the product and the amount of product. We agree, and Bill C-398 addresses this. They want to see flexibility with respect to the amount of product that is sent overseas so there will be enough to meet public health needs, and of course we agree with that. Their concerns about anti-diversion are fair, and they are addressed in the legislation. Their concerns about eligible countries are fair, and we are open to discussing that at the committee stage. Like them, we agree that the products should be approved by Health Canada. In fact, Bill C-398 does not change that. Finally, they speak of the principle of an appeal mechanism, which is also fair. We have no problem with that.
Like hundreds of NGOs, and like most Canadians, 80% like the generic companies. The brand name pharmaceutical industry is ready to see this bill at the foreign affairs committee. My colleagues across the aisle should be ready for that too.
In fact, the only people who seem to oppose this legislation are some colleagues on the other side, who have been misinformed through outdated and misguided talking points. Their opposition to the bill is based on incorrect information or a lack of information.
In this respect, I was a bit surprised to hear the parliamentary secretary on the matter and to realize the Minister of Industry does not seem to know the industry is on board with this bill. That is a bit surprising. I have heard things, such as the bill removes the need for notification of quantities and things like that. I am flabbergasted. Have these people read the bill? The bill does not do that.
I heard very briefly that it would be costly to the economy. That is not the case. I have heard that CAMR works, but people who are involved in it say it does not work, that it does not change the economics of drug supply. That is wrong. Competition brings the prices down. A portion of medicines are already generic, but this bill is aimed at those medicines that are not generic. I will not go down the list, because unfortunately I do not have time.
It is so important that we, as parliamentarians, vote on this bill based on the correct information. It would be a very sad day if my colleagues on the other side of the House refused to join the consensus that includes pharmaceutical companies and 80% of Canadians.
I urge them to remember when they vote that this bill would save lives. I encourage all of my colleagues to take the time to study the bill. My door is open to them. Next Wednesday, let us vote for life, let us vote for CAMR reform.