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Shameful defeat of Bill C-398

Vote record

On November 28, 2012, Bill C-398 lost its second reading vote by a slim margin of 148-141. The bill had multi-partisan support, including from some backbench government MPs and all opposition parties in the House. But in the end, the bill fell because the Government chose not to support it.

In 2004, Parliament unanimously passed a bill creating Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). The law was supposed to help get lower-cost, generic medicines to people in developing countries. Instead, bureaucracy has weighed it down: so far, only one order of one AIDS drug has been sent to a single country.

The need for global, equitable access to medicines is just as urgent as ever. Too many people in developing countries are dying because medicines are not available at prices they can afford and health agencies have limited budgets to pay high prices for brand-name drugs. People die because they cannot afford to buy life. We will continue to find other avenues to advocate for access to medicines for all.

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Key Campaign Documents

Background materials

Letters from supporters

Learn More:

Related Links

27 June 2011 —
São Paulo Declaration
Parliamentary Declaration on Access to Medicines and Other Pharmaceutical Products

7 March, 2011 —
From knowledge to action for access to medicines:
An open letter to Parliamentarians from concerned Canadian health professionals and scientists

3 March, 2011 —
The Price of Life: An Open Letter to Members of Parliament from Leaders of Faith Communities in Canada

News Releases

October 16, 2012 —
Bill C-398 Critical Opportunity to Get Life-saving Generic Medicines to Those Most in Need: Statement by Civil Society Groups

April 26, 2011 —
New Poll Shows Canadians Concerned About Global Reputation, but Confident It Can Be Improved by Making Affordable Medicines Available to Developing Countries
News Release

March 26, 2011 — Parliament Fails to Fix Law to Save Lives — Bill C-393 Stalled to Death in Senate

March 23, 2011 — Civil Society Groups Rally in Support of Urgent Passage of Access to Medicines Bill
News Release

March 9, 2011 — MPs Choose Hope — Bill C-393 Passes!

March 9, 2011 —
Dr. James Orbinski, Stephen Lewis and K’naan Urge Parliament to Pass Bill C-393
News Release

March 7, 2011 —
Leading Canadian Physicians and Scientists Urge Parliament to Choose Evidence and Compassion and Support Bill C-393
Statement and Letter

March 3, 2011 — Quebec NGOs call on Bloc leader to reconsider proposed “sunset clause” to Bill C-393

March 3, 2011 — Diverse Faith Leaders Rally to Support Humanitarian Bill and Save Lives in the Developing World
Statement and Letter

February 18, 2011 — Fixing Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime: Bill C-393 up for final vote in House of Commons in early March

February 2, 2011 — A Victory for Democracy: Bill C-393 Will Proceed to a Vote in the House of Commons

January 31, 2011 —
Bill C-393: Common sense versus obstructionism and excuses during today’s Parliamentary debate

January 31, 2011 —
MPs to Debate Life-Saving Access to Medicines Bill Today
News Release

January 31, 2011 —
Fixing Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime: Campaign for Life-Saving Treatment at Critical Stage

November 30, 2010 —
World AIDS Day a Stark Reminder That MPs Have Power to Save Lives
News Release and Letter to MPs

November 1, 2010 —
Study on Access to Medicines Bill Concludes Today
News Release

October 27, 2010 —
Fixing Canada's Access to Medicines Regime: Open Letter to WTO Members Regarding review of Doha Paragraph 6 Mechanism on Access to Medicines

September 29, 2010 —
Groups Rally on Parliament Hill for Access to Life-Saving Medicines
News Release

March 24, 2010 —
Campaign for "Universal Access" to Medicines Goes Global
News Release

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