PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES

Raghav Sundar

The Nasty Side Effects of a National Drug Plan

A conference was held a few weeks ago in Ottawa to discuss yet again the adoption of a pan-Canadian government-run drug insurance plan that would cover prescription drug costs for the entire population. Such a program would instead risk increasing the burden currently weighing down public finances. Such a plan would not only entail extra costs for taxpayers, but would do nothing to change governments' current propensity to restrict and delay access to new drugs. Foreign experience can teach us much about the dangers of adopting a monopolistic drug insurance system in Canada.

Designer Drugs: You're Really Paying for the Name

In Canada the drug industry spends roughly $3 billion per year marketing its products, two-thirds of which goes towards the salaries of the sales reps who visit our physicians regularly, and the drug samples they use to enhance their one-on-one learning sessions.