Yanick Labrie

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What My Critics Don't Get About Drug Policy

It is always a pleasure for me to openly discuss and debate issues surrounding drug coverage with experts in the field. In a series of three blogs, an economist from the Montreal Economic Institute, Yanick Labrie, criticizes my work on Canadian pharmaceutical policy. Unfortunately, these criticisms are ill-founded and do not contribute to a better understanding of these issues.
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Part 3: The Underestimated Benefits of "Me-Too" Drugs

Marc-André Gagnon, assistant professor at Carleton University, argues in a recent article that more than 80 per cent of new drugs entering the market are merely carbon copies of existing drugs -- commonly called "me-too" or "follow-on" drugs -- without any real therapeutic advance. Such criticisms, however, reveal a complete ignorance of the nature of the innovation process in the pharmaceutical industry.

Part 2: Paying Less for Prescription Drugs? Bad Idea

Paying less for drugs sounds like a good idea, right? Well, as with everything else, one needs to look at the whole picture and see what he gets in return. With regards to bulk purchasing, although there might be some savings initially, it is clear that the long-term disadvantages of such a policy outweigh its short-term benefits.
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.

The Swedish Secret to Public Sector Reform

Work organization in the public sector across Canada has long been hindered by various forms of rigidity. We could take some inspiration from the experience of Sweden, a country that managed to transform its public sector employment scheme without antagonizing unions and workers.
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Canadians With Lower Income Have Higher Opportunity

We often hear that in Canada, "the rich are becoming richer while the poor are getting poorer." Fortunately, studies focusing on economic mobility in Canada tell a totally different and more accurate story. By looking at these data, it becomes clear that it is the poorest 20 per cent who enjoy the highest upward economic mobility.