The industry has been growing steadily since the late 1990s, when the country’s pharmaceutical industry was experiencing rapid growth, said Mike MacLaren, executive vice-president of research at the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
But the industry has recently seen its growth slowed by some of the countrys most pressing health issues, including obesity and cardiovascular disease, MacLareas chief of research said.
“That is what we are seeing now in the pharmaceutical industry, it is not just a matter of being able to produce the right drugs, but also the right ones at the right time,” he said.
The industry has also seen the number of drugs produced in Canada decrease over the past five years.
As of November 2018, Canada had 1,914 drug patents, down from 2,067 in 2015.
But research from the institute shows the country is producing fewer drugs every year.
In the last year, pharmaceuticals manufacturing operations produced 1.5 million fewer drugs than in 2015, the institute said.
The number of patents granted for research has also decreased since the mid-2000s.
In fact, Canada is not even on track to meet its 2020 target of producing a total of 1.1 million drugs a year, the research says.
That means the country does not yet have enough patents to meet the government’s goal.
“We have had a very slow pace of innovation in the country.
We have a lot of pharmaceutical companies that are not doing the best of what they can do and we have not had a lot in terms of manufacturing capacity,” MacLendlin said.
While the industry is in a period of rapid growth and rapid changes in supply chain practices, there are some areas where the sector is catching up to what is expected of it.
The number of patented drugs produced per capita in Canada fell from 1,066 in 2015 to 821 in 2019, according to the institute.
Thats a decrease of almost 80 per cent, but it still is higher than the United States.
The countrys manufacturing capacity also is falling faster than it is in other countries.
In 2016, the number was 1.9 million, and in 2019 it was 1,021.
The Canadian pharmaceutical industry is producing about 3.5 times more drugs per person than the average in other developed countries, Maclaren said.