Quebec’s pharmaceutical industry has a long history, which has generally been expressed through its SMEs.
They have long operated in the shadow of the big brand-name companies, producing medicines that are in many cases inspired by Europe. A large number of products are available in tablet form, of course, but also in drinkable ampoules and suppositories. In the 1970s, a first transformation took place: from multiple pharmaceutical ingredients to single-ingredient drugs, and a renewed emphasis on syrups and antacids. Despite a Quebec government policy unfavorable to generic drugs, some pioneers took the plunge: Sabex, Technilab, Pharmascience emerged to join Horner and ICN alongside Rougier and Thérapex, known for their specialty products.
All survive in other forms; new companies have taken over, manufacturing or marketing increasingly complex drugs. For those familiar with the sector, our companies have gone from DIN to NOC, and recently filed the very first new drug submissions.