OTTAWA -- Canada's brand name drug makers are making a pitch for longer patent protection just as trade talks with the European Union enter the final stretch.

Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies are releasing three studies this week to try to show that longer patents on their products would result in more investment in their businesses, more money for research and development, and more high paying jobs in the sector.

The EU has been urging Canada to make generic drugmakers wait -- on average -- an additional 2.66 years before they can start knocking off cheaper copies of newly patented drugs.

But that, according to a confidential government study The Canadian Press reported on last week, would cost consumers up to two-billion dollars a year.

Canada's generic drug industry puts the estimated cost closer to three-billion a year -- an expense that would be borne by provincial drug plans, employee insurance plans and individuals who buy drugs.