On November 28, 2012, MPs in Ottawa voted on Bill C-398 to amend Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime. This bill would have improved Canada’s existing law making it easier for Canadian companies to send low cost, lifesaving medicines to those who need it most. Disappointingly, the bill was defeated by only 7 votes.
If passed, Bill C-398 would have strengthened Canada’s position as a true global leader on newborn, child and maternal health. It would have also strengthened global efforts to help the 1.5 million infants born to mothers with HIV – infants who need antiretroviral (ARV) treatments in order to live to see their second birthday.
UNICEF Canada thanks the MPs who supported the Bill, as well as the 1,300 Canadians who supported our grassroots letter-writing campaign.
Although the defeat of Bill C-398 is a setback, UNICEF will continue its work to ensure that all children have access to lifesaving medicines, no matter how poor or vulnerable they might be.
An AIDS-free generation is possible. With renewed support, we can end new HIV infections among children by 2015.
UNICEF Canada's statement on Bill C-398 is available here.