It’s back to school! After an incredible summer in Montréal and elsewhere in Québec, it’s that time of year. Time for activities to resume. And the pace is already very fast and dynamic, both in the life sciences sector and in our cluster.

Late summer was marked by the August announcement of the federal government’s upcoming implementation of operational changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). These changes will materialize despite opposition by many groups from the life sciences sector (industry, but also groups of patients) and despite concerns expressed by the Québec and Ontario governments regarding mismeasured impacts on the economic development of the life sciences sector in these two provinces. What a shame! Regardless of the industry, I believe it is completely unrealistic to think that an anticipated decline of 40 to 70% in revenue (based on the specific scenarios of the PMPRB) will have no impact on investments and employment in Québec and Canada. I hope that after the next campaign, there can be a true dialogue among stakeholders to discuss the terms of implementing those changes.

On a more optimistic note, a few months back, Montréal InVivo launched a new working committee on gender equity and parity in our sector. This is a subject that I find very important and that particularly affects me as a father of two young women. I cannot help but observe at each and every meeting of my own board of directors the under-representation of women in management positions in our industry. I hope we will be able to make changes, little by little, in our large organizations, but also in our SMEs and startups. I also commend the recent initiatives intended to encourage female entrepreneurship, particularly the federal strategy in this area that supports organizations such as Québec-based Femmessor and others elsewhere in Canada. Let’s make sure that the life sciences sector embarks on this movement and becomes an example for other sectors to follow.


Frank Béraud