Patients in Canada, Mexico could face longer wait for some generic drugs

The proposed new North American trade agreement would extend to 10 years the minimum "data-protection" period for biologic drugs, potentially making patients and health systems in Mexico and Canada wait years longer for lower-cost copies of certain brand-name medicines.

The proposed new North American trade agreement would extend to 10 years the minimum "data-protection" period for biologic drugs, potentially making patients and health systems in Mexico and Canada wait years longer for lower-cost copies of certain brand-name medicines. A data-protection period essentially gives a new drug a monopoly for some time before rival firms can market copies.
The data-protection period for biologic drugs is currently 8 years in Canada and 5 years in Mexico. The data-protection period in the United States, which will not change under the deal, is 12 years.