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LEADING CANADIAN PHYSICIANS AND SCIENTISTS URGE PARLIAMENT TO CHOOSE EVIDENCE AND COMPASSION AND SUPPORT BILL C-393

March 7, 2011 - In an open letter released today, some of this country's leading physicians and scientists are urging Members of Parliament and Senators to support important reforms to Canada's Access to Medicines and in the process save thousands of lives. The proposed legislation will streamline the cumbersome licensing process which has made it nearly impossible to fulfill the original vision of CAMR: to provide affordable generic medicines to developing countries to prevent deaths from treatable diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Bill C-393 will be voted on at third reading Wednesday evening. In light of continued misinformation circulated by those with a private interest in opposing CAMR reform, more than 90 esteemed physicians, scientists and supporters are speaking out. In their letter entitled "From knowledge to action for access to medicines", the signatories state: "Bill C-393 can transform CAMR into sound legislation that will help relieve suffering and save lives in developing countries - as Parliament intended when it unanimously created CAMR in 2004. Political leadership and a commitment on your part to support Bill C-393 are now required."

Signatories include:
- Dr. Don Kilby, President and Founder of the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance;
- Dr. Julio S.G. Montaner, Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and immediate past president of the International AIDS Society;
- Dr. James Orbinski, Chair in Global Health, (Dalla Lana School of Public Health), University of Toronto and Co-Founder of Dignitas International;
- Dr. Réjean Thomas, Président Fondateur, Clinique médicale l'Actuel and Président d'honneur, Fondateur, Médecins du Monde Canada;
- Dr. Mark Wainberg, Director of the McGill University AIDS Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and past president of the International AIDS Society; and
- Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik, Founder and Director of the Masai Centre and Founder of Bracelet of Hope.

The letter is also endorsed by prominent organizations such as the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Along with dozens of civil society groups, faith leaders, leading Canadian artists, activists and public officials- including former Prime Minister Paul Martin whose government initially created CAMR- these physicians and scientists join the millions of Canadians who choose evidence and compassion over politics and private interest. They expect their Parliamentarians to follow suit by supporting Bill C-393.

To view the open letter online, and for more detailed information on Bill C-393, please visit http://www.aidslaw.ca/EN/camr/documents/Health-sci_ltr-ENG.pdf and www.aidslaw.ca/camr respectively.

Contact: Janet Butler-McPhee
Director of Communications, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Telephone: +1 416 595-1666 ext. 228, jbutler@aidslaw.ca

Contact:
Christopher Holcroft
Principal, Empower Consulting for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Telephone: +1 416 996-0767, chris_holcroft@yahoo.com

Reproduced with permission - "Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network"

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
www.aidslaw.ca


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