COVID-19 led Canada to invest in biomanufacturing and domestic vaccine development, but a concerted national bioinnovation strategy is needed to ensure the country's prosperity and health security, says Christine Allen.
Allen, the University of Toronto's associate vice-president and vice-provost, strategic Initiatives, and a professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, wrote an op-ed in the Hill Times calling for sustained investment in the bioinnovation sector to protect against future health threats.
“New investments in our life sciences ecosystem will improve health care beyond the immediate needs of the pandemic,” she says. “Canada must catch up on preventative cancer screenings, deploy regenerative medicine to tackle the acute pressure on our health-care system from diseases like diabetes and heart failure, and grow the workforce across the health-care system.”
“As this crisis transitions toward its end,” she adds, “it is time to focus on moving from an urgent response to implementing a sustained strategy that brings all stakeholders to the table and strengthens Canada’s health security.”