Canada Drugs

Fighting The Over-medication Of Canadian Seniors

Alan Cassels | Posted 05.26.2016 | Canada Living
Alan Cassels

The case of 'too much medication' in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized for the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of too many prescription drugs because aging affects their ability to process medications.

7 Tips For Successfully Tapering Off Prescription Opioids

Beth Darnall | Posted 05.20.2016 | Canada Living
Beth Darnall

If you experience withdrawal symptoms, this does not meant that you cannot get off opioids. Withdrawal symptoms mean that your opioid level was dropped too quickly and your body was surprised by the lack of medication. The key is to work with your body to successfully taper your opioids -- by making small changes slowly over time.

Our Opioid Epidemic Is A Symptom Of Pharma's Alarming Influence

Alan Cassels | Posted 05.09.2016 | Canada Living
Alan Cassels

Critics have begun pointing the finger at the medical system and its prescribers -- well-meaning doctors and specialists who've been giving too many patients excessively powerful opioid medications to deal with modest pain. But we can dig deeper and look at the relationship between medical education and pharmaceutical company influence as a significant contributing factor.

An End To The War On Drugs May Finally Be In Sight

Bill Bogart | Posted 04.14.2016 | Canada Impact
Bill Bogart

The War may suffer a slow and prolonged demise, but the end will surely come. Canada can be a leader on these issues. It can steadfastly promote the winding down of the War. Our country should reclaim its position on the international stage, not as a nation of power, but one of humanity.

This Doctor Is Wrong About Pharmaceuticals And Natural Remedies

Karen Selick | Posted 04.11.2016 | Canada Living
Karen Selick

The National Post has published several articles and letters lately that have been harshly critical of naturopathic doctors and alternative medicine. The latest one to catch my eye was the letter on this page by Dr. Susan Piccinin, a medical doctor from Ancaster, Ontario.

Canada Needs A National Strategy To Tackle The Rise Of 'Superbugs'

Bryan Thomas | Posted 03.29.2016 | Canada Politics
Bryan Thomas

In the arms race between germs and medicine, the global community has two complementary strategies at its disposal: First, we can develop new antimicrobials, and secondly, we can slow the emergence of resistant strains through judicious use of current antimicrobials.

'Manopause' Is Real And Should Not Be Ignored

University of Toronto News | Posted 03.07.2016 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

A 65-year-old man notices he's feeling more tired lately. He's gaining weight and losing muscle. He can't get as many erections, and generally feels foggy and unwell. His family doctor takes some blood tests and rules out thyroid problems, high cholesterol and blood sugar issues. The only finding is low testosterone -- but that's a normal part of aging, right?

It's Time For Big Pharma To Open Up About Drug Safety And Effectiveness

Matthew Herder | Posted 02.17.2016 | Canada Politics
Matthew Herder

If Canada is to implement national pharmacare, surely we want to know more about the drugs we'll be paying for. To this end, we must tackle a pre-existing challenge: we must open up the evidence our drug regulator houses concerning drug safety and effectiveness. For decades Health Canada has kept that information confidential at the behest of drug manufacturers. This practice limits the ongoing evaluation of a drug's safety and effectiveness and, in turn, provincial and territorial governments' decision-making about which drugs to pay for, not to mention physicians and patients who make decisions about which drugs to prescribe and take.

5 Ways We Can Reduce Suicides In Canada

Jitender Sareen | Posted 01.11.2016 | Canada Living
Jitender Sareen

Despite recent headlines, Canadian rates of suicide and attempted suicide have remained largely unchanged over the last several decades. What has changed is that we've seen increasing rates of suicide in the Canadian military recently, after stable rates for decades. The problem of suicide is not limited to the military in Canada; indigenous populations, especially in northern remote communities, have high rates of suicide. We need a unified approach across provincial and federal sectors to reduce suicides in the military, among veterans and civilians.

Why Doctors Must Change How They Medicate Patients

John Muscedere | Posted 01.05.2016 | Canada Living
John Muscedere

Using non-beneficial medications or failing to offer comfort medications to chronically ill patients is potentially harmful, time-consuming and simply bad medical care. Unnecessary or unwarranted medical interventions, including medications, are also costly to the healthcare system. It's time to embrace new ways of thinking.

Governments Hate To Admit The Advantages Of Vaping

Karen Selick | Posted 12.30.2015 | Canada Politics
Karen Selick

Since 2009, Health Canada has taken the position that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal. But out on the streets, Health Canada is simply being ignored. There's a brisk trade in vaping supplies including nicotine. Much of the new legislation might be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts. Nicotine addicts who still use tobacco as a delivery method are suffering harm to their health that now appears to be quite unnecessary.

Prescription Opioids Are Behind Canada's Greatest Health Crisis

David Juurlink | Posted 12.02.2015 | Canada Living
David Juurlink

Today, doctors' offices are inundated with people who have been harmed more than helped by these drugs. Thousands more are dead. And yet the marketing continues, with pain specialists and advocacy groups opposing moves to curtail opioid prescription, their efforts financed by the very companies that make these drugs.

We Need Trudeau To Prioritize Pharmaceutical Drug Coverage

Steve Morgan | Posted 11.20.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Unlike any comparable country, Canada's universal public health care system effectively ends as soon as a patient is handed a prescription to fill. Millions of Canadians have no drug coverage at all and millions more have coverage that is inadequate to ensure access to medicines.

Bring The Human Toll Of Addiction To Light

Allan McDougall | Posted 11.20.2015 | Canada Living
Allan McDougall

Addiction is misunderstood, and it leaves those suffering from the condition stigmatized. Society makes the assumption that an addict has a personal problem, not a medical one.

Dear Health Minister, We Need Federal Leadership In Medicare Restored

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 11.18.2015 | Canada Politics
Colleen M. Flood

You will know well from history that real change won't happen by providing more federal money with unconditional transfers.Real change will require helping provinces to shift the focus of our health system away from those who are relatively well resourced to new areas of care, such as essential pharmaceuticals and homecare.

What Trudeau Can Do To Make Medicines Accessible To All Canadians

Steve Morgan | Posted 11.05.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Financial barriers to filling necessary prescriptions result in worse health for patients. They also result in increased use of taxpayer-finance hospital and medical care. In other words, they don't save anybody money in the long run.

My Employers Helped Me Beat Addiction in the Workplace

Allan McDougall | Posted 10.25.2015 | Canada Business
Allan McDougall

I was a hard rock miner at the time and fortunately my union, the United Steelworkers, had an Employee Assistance Program whose staff guided me to the treatment I needed. They accepted me as a person who has a problem, not a problem person, and put me on the road to recovering my sobriety and my dignity.

Why We Need to Cover Medication for Children

Avram Denburg | Posted 10.17.2015 | Canada Politics
Avram Denburg

The glaring gaps in drug coverage for Canadian children are made stranger by the economic dimensions of the issue. Children's health care represents a drop in the ocean of health care budgets -- extending universal drug coverage to children would constitute a small fraction of total pharmaceutical spending.

Now Is the Time for Canada to Catch Up on Drug Safety for Children

Terry P. Klassen | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada Politics
Terry P. Klassen

What the report, Improving Medicines for Children in Canada confirmed was what pediatricians in the field already know -- that much of the medications given to children in Canada have never been adequately studied or even formally approved for the conditions they are commonly prescribed to treat.

Stigma of Mental Illness Cuts Deeper For Canada's Aboriginal People

Sandra Charron | Posted 09.21.2015 | Canada Impact
Sandra Charron

I recently attended a mental health first aid course in order to further educate myself on the various mental illness disorders, the consequences of their severity and their overall prevalence in the population -- My eyes were opened to an entire population of our Canadian people whose rate of suicide was too horrifying to further ignore. As statistics related to aboriginal suicides were listed, I realized that this war being waged against the stigma of mental illness is but one of the many battles that will need to be addressed honestly in order to understand the magnitude of the affliction our mentally ill population is facing. As communities of aboriginals are fighting an invisible disease, society can dismiss the reality of the stigma by citing drugs and alcohol as the weak link in this people's history.

Fentanyl Stole My Brother From Our Family

Joelle Tomlinson | Posted 09.03.2015 | Canada Living
Joelle Tomlinson

Fentanyl stole from me, from my family and from countless others across Canada. I've had items stolen from me before. In high school, someone broke into my locker and took my iPod. I remember my mom telling me, "Life goes on." Last year, someone stole funds from my bank account. Life goes on. Sometimes, though, it doesn't. On February 28, 2015, my older brother took what he thought was an Oxycontin tablet while he was out partying. He went home, he went to bed and he never woke up.

Children Should See the Horrors of Drug Use

Julie Rusciolelli | Posted 08.07.2015 | Canada Living
Julie Rusciolelli

Why not show the seedy, disgusting underbelly and sickening adverse effects drugs have on us feeble humans? Images of a deviated septum, busted arm veins, chronic bleeding noses, rotten teeth, fetal effects, undernourished human bodies, etc. Horrifying images of what drug use has on the human body. Visceral images that make one think "that's repulsive, I'll never do that." We usher in a movement that illustrates and encourages dialogue about the revolting face of what drugs do: destroy the human spirit, decay our bodies, ruin families, and ultimately lead us to an early grave. There is NO glamour in drug use, no matter what Kanye is singing about.

Canada Takes Long to Approve New Drugs - and That's Good

Alan Cassels | Posted 07.23.2015 | Canada Politics
Alan Cassels

Provinces are clearly voting with their budgets, going slow and low on approvals and coverage of new therapies. Canada is not wrong to be prudent in taking our time to decide how, or if, a new drug needs to be covered -- a precautionary approach is just the smart way to go.

Mom To Be Extradited To U.S. On Drug Charges, Has To Leave Toddler

CP | Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press | Posted 07.21.2015 | Canada

Joanna Paluski argued the minister had not taken into account the best interests of her toddler given that she is the sole caregiver.

National Pharmacare Isn't the Answer

Alan Cassels | Posted 07.07.2015 | Canada Politics
Alan Cassels

Bigger does not always equal better; sometimes bigger means dumber. Any national pharmacare program would need an absolute firewall to protect it from the inevitable politics of drug coverage, otherwise you'd be left with even more irrational and expensive drug coverage decisions.