Pharmaceutical Industry

Universal Pharmacare Would Make Medicine More Affordable In Canada

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 12.07.2016 | Canada Politics
Colleen M. Flood

Why? Universal drug plans mean national bodies negotiate fairer prices for prescription drugs. The results are dramatic. So, while some critics claim that universal prescription drug insurance is a nice idea, but not affordable - it's very clear that universal prescription drug insurance is actually the key to affordability.

Let's Talk About The Other Side Of Big Pharma

Dr. Diane McIntosh | Posted 11.24.2016 | Canada Impact
Dr. Diane McIntosh

Many believe pharmaceutical companies are repugnant. There were several serious issues that built the foundation of the anti-pharma movement. While not all companies are guilty or equally responsible, many behaved unethically. They didn't always fully disclose research and safety data if it didn't support their product. They attempted to prevent researchers from voicing serious concerns. They created inappropriate relationships with physicians, leaving the impression that doctors were being bought, and sometimes that was true. This had to change.

National Pharmacare: To Be Or Not To Be

Global Public Affairs | Posted 10.24.2016 | Canada Politics
Global Public Affairs

Today's disjointed pharmaceutical policy may be described as a Shakespearean tragedy -- a flawed system that will always end with demise. The relationship between health care policies, the funding of prescription drugs and public access to medically necessary medication is fragmented. It is in need of political leadership.

National Pharmacare Is The Opposite Of What Canada Needs

Jasmin Guénette | Posted 07.18.2016 | Canada Politics
Jasmin Guénette

When the topic of health care and pharmaceutical drugs comes up, the discussion usually turns sooner or later to the high prices we pay. At the upcoming meeting of the Council of the Federation in Yukon, the Canadian health care system will certainly be on the agenda. But a national pharmacare plan would do more harm than good.

We Must Remember The Mandate When Legalizing Marijuana

Quito Maggi | Posted 07.06.2016 | Canada Politics
Quito Maggi

We have heard a lot about legalization, and right now everyone is talking about the regulations that will go along with that legalization, but it would be prudent to remember the mandate of the government: Legalize, Regulate, and Restrict Access to minor of cannabis products.

AR And VR Are The New Tides Of Digital Pharma Wave

Awane Jones | Posted 06.30.2016 | Canada Business
Awane Jones

It's natural for any industry to undergo changes, but few industries have experienced as many rapid changes as the pharmaceutical and health care ones. To remain relevant among these digitally wired consumers, big pharmaceutical companies have adjusted, making visible efforts to grab the audience's attention through web and mobile presence.

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.

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.

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.

Prescription Opioids Are Behind Canada's Greatest Health Crisis

David Juurlink | Posted 12.02.2016 | 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 11.20.2016 | 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.

Dear Health Minister, We Need Federal Leadership In Medicare Restored

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 11.18.2016 | 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 11.04.2016 | 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.

Why We Need to Cover Medication for Children

Avram Denburg | Posted 10.17.2016 | 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 09.15.2016 | 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.

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

Alan Cassels | Posted 07.23.2016 | 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.

Quebec-Style Pharmacare Program Won't Work for the Rest of Canada

Marc-Andre Gagnon | Posted 07.01.2016 | Canada Business
Marc-Andre Gagnon

Eight provincial health ministers organized a roundtable with healthcare professionals and academic experts on June 8 to discuss how we should transform drug coverage in Canada and several are now calling for a national pharmacare program. The question now is, what kind?

Canadians Should Not Shoulder Prescription Drug Costs

Steve Morgan | Posted 05.22.2016 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Cities have to spend this money, taken from local taxpayers, because Canada's medicare system is the only universal, public health care system among developed countries that does not include universal coverage of prescription drugs. It is not wrong for cities to care for their employees. But leaving these costs to the cities makes about as much sense as requiring every homeowner to maintain the roads and infrastructure surrounding their property. Here's why.

Universal Canadian Drug Coverage Is Good for Business

Steve Morgan | Posted 06.23.2015 | Canada Business
Steve Morgan

Businesses care about the health and well-being of the Canadian workforce. Employees that can afford the medicines as and when prescribed will be healthier, happier, and more productive. In this election year, it is time for Canada's business leaders to call for universal, public pharmacare.

There's No Good Reason Canada Shouldn't Have a National Drug Plan

Livio Di Matteo | Posted 06.14.2015 | Canada Politics
Livio Di Matteo

A new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal with health economist Steve Morgan as lead author argues a national universal care drug program would not result in substantial tax increases. It seems the time is ripe to finally complete our universal system of public healthcare coverage by adding a national public drug plan. If anything, these cautions should serve as guideposts to make sure a new national drug plan is not only effective but also designed in a fiscally sustainable manner.

Canada Needs More Transparency in Pharmaceutical Regulation

Kelvin K. Ogilvie | Posted 05.16.2015 | Canada Politics
Kelvin K. Ogilvie

The federal government plays a vital role in pharmaceutical drug regulation. We have many reasons to be proud of the systems for drug safety already in place in Canada. Yet there's room for significant improvement. Canadians deserve safe, effective, accessible and reliable pharmaceutical drugs when they need them. The only way to do this is through perpetually improved systems framed by transparency and openness.

Four Things Needed to Make Pharmacare Work for Canadians

Steve Morgan | Posted 04.27.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

A growing number of health professionals, patients, community groups and even politicians are calling for national pharmacare. But many Canadians likely wonder what pharmacare is and whether Canada is ready for it.

Why Do Canadian Employers Waste $5 billion a Year on Inefficient Drug Coverage?

Alan Cassels | Posted 04.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Alan Cassels

Employers want their drug plans to be as competitive as those offered by other employers. So what happens when the norm is to cover all new drugs at any cost, even if the drugs do not provide additional therapeutic value? Well, the end result is that everyone buys "generous" plans instead of increasing employee compensation. Everyone we spoke with agrees about the need to educate employees and employers alike. And in fact, everyone agrees (even insurers) that exorbitant drug costs are a big issue for Canadians.

As Vaccine Prices Soar, Big Pharma Profits

Stephen Cornish | Posted 04.06.2015 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

Last week in Berlin more than 15 countries pledged over US$7.5 billion to buy vaccines for the children of the world's poorest countries for the next five years. While this is great news for the millions of children living in the 73 countries supported by Gavi, there were other big winners: the pharmaceutical companies that benefit from the soaring vaccine prices they charge for vaccines worldwide.

How Health Canada Failed to Uphold Its Own Pharmaceutical Ad Standards

Barbara Mintzes | Posted 03.28.2015 | Canada Politics
Barbara Mintzes

Although advertising of prescription medicines to the public is generally banned in Canada on public health grounds, shifts in administrative policy have allowed two types of ads since late 2000: "reminder" ads that mention a brand name, but make no health claims; and "help-seeking" ads that mention a condition, but do not state a brand or company name. We have identified six main weaknesses in how Health Canada regulates this advertising.