What are some of the words that come to mind when you think of pharmaceutical companies? That was the question we were asked by Mark Smithyes, from Novartis, when he came to speak to the interns on Wednesday. Many words came to mind, some positive, some not. But to be honest, I didn’t really know anything about the pharmaceutical industry in Canada. For example, I did not realize that this industry provides Ontario with 10,000 jobs. Mr. Smithyes also explained to us that a drug in Canada has a patent life of 20 years. However, the lifespan of the patent starts when the molecule is discovered, not when the drugs hit the shelves. On average, we were told, it takes 10 years to make your product commercially successful. It was a very informative and thought provoking presentation on the pharmaceutical industry.
We would like to thank Mr. Smithyes for taking the time to speak with us and also for providing us with a very delicious lunch.