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Yanick Labrie

Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

Yanick Labrie, Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute, is a health economist and public policy consultant living in Montreal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Concordia University and a master’s degree in economics from the Université de Montréal.

Mr. Labrie’s career in health policy spans more than ten years. He has worked as an economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organizations (CIRANO) and was a lecturer at HEC Montréal’s Institute of Applied Economics.

He authored or co-authored more than 25 research papers and studies related to healthcare and pharmaceutical policies. Many of his articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Montreal Gazette, La Presse and Le Devoir, among other newspapers.

He is frequently invited to participate in conferences and debates, and to comment on economic affairs in the media. He has spoken at international conferences in Montreal and in Toronto on the lessons to be learned from Europe’s health care systems. He has been invited to give testimonies at numerous parliamentary commissions and working groups on a wide range of topics and has also done some work as an expert witness.
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Poverty in Canada Is Not a Life Sentence

the notion that there are a lot of Canadians who are stuck in a cycle of poverty, in this day and age, is simply mistaken. The research is very clear on this question: Social mobility is high in Canada. In other words, despite what you may have heard, the poor are getting richer, too.
10/09/2015 05:27 EDT
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World's Poorest Need Freedom Far More Than Charity

China and India have become a lot less poor. Although they still have a ways to go -- as do we all -- a staggering number of people in both countries are living substantially better lives than their parents did because they have been allowed, to a greater degree than before, to pursue their own interests. The least that organizations like the UN could do is refrain from denigrating that pursuit.
09/22/2015 05:34 EDT
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There Are Too Many Misperceptions About Inequality in Canada

There are many things to say about the varied causes and potential effects of inequality. But one oft-neglected question that's worth asking is: Do people generally have an accurate picture of the level of inequality that exists in their countries? The short answer, according to a recent paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor, is that they do not. In Misperceiving Inequality, researchers Vladimir Gimpelson and Daniel Treisman note, first of all, that only 29 per cent of respondents across 40 countries were able to identify which of five diagrams best characterized income distribution in their societies--which is not much more accurate than random chance.
07/03/2015 05:13 EDT
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It's Time to Overcome Private Healthcare Fears

A health care system can remain public and universal all while allowing entrepreneurs to compete to provide services and attract clients, instead of leaving patients trapped in a public monopoly that fails to respond adequately to the demand for treatment. But first, we have to get over our fears concerning the role of the private sector in health care.
11/14/2014 06:07 EST
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Private Health Care Could Benefit Canada

Canada is the only country to limit the role of private health insurance exclusively to the coverage of services not insured by the public system. Canada is also alone in prohibiting doctors from practicing in both the public and the private sectors. Whereas 99 per cent of hospitals in Canada are public, in all other countries, private institutions have an important role to play in the provision of hospital services. Private, for-profit hospitals make up over one third of all hospitals in Germany (42 per cent), France (39 per cent) and Australia (36 per cent). Beyond any doubt, patients would be the first to benefit from such a pragmatic, evidence-based outcome.
08/30/2014 11:00 EDT
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Would Politicians Make Good Goalkeepers?

In a penalty kick situation, goalkeepers must decide what to do before clearly observing kick direction. Basically, goalkeepers feel worse, and are judged more harshly, if they stay in the centre and fail to stop the ball than if they jump left or right and fail. Another profession that exhibits action bias, and for much the same reason, is politics.
07/09/2014 05:49 EDT
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O

At an important conference in Chicago last June, over 25,000 doctors and researchers from around the world gathered to hear about several new breakthroughs in targeted therapies that will soon play a leading role in the fight against cancer.
07/04/2014 05:18 EDT
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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.
06/20/2013 12:14 EDT

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.
06/19/2013 12:09 EDT
Raghav Sundar

Part 1: Drug Rationing Is the Wrong Prescription

Marc-André Gagnon, assistant professor at Carleton University. Gagnon, a long-time critic of the pharmaceutical industry, is concerned that overall drug expenditures are higher in Canada than in other developed countries. Gagnon's analysis is flawed in several respects.
06/18/2013 05:37 EDT
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.
06/05/2013 08:25 EDT
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Who Suffers When Minimum Wage Increases?

Empirical studies on the matter carried out here in Canada are unequivocal: Raising the minimum wage leads to increased unemployment, especially among the young, who have less experience and qualifications.
05/14/2013 12:12 EDT

Hugo Chavez Left a Sad Legacy

Media around the world have devoted a great deal of coverage to the death of Hugo Chavez, who passed away last Tuesday after losing his fight against cancer. His legacy as the President of the "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" needs to be seen in the light of a long tradition of populism in Latin American history.
03/08/2013 08:10 EST
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The High Cost of Low Prescription Drug Prices

Drug shortages remain a source of headache for health professionals throughout the country. Policies that artificially lower prices end up making the production of certain prescription drugs simply unprofitable. In the long run, this situation has the effect of pressuring several pharmaceutical companies to abandon the production of drugs whose profit margins are too small and reallocate their resources to the production of others with a better chance of being profitable. We are missing our target if, by trying to ensure that drugs are safe and sold at low prices, we create shortages.
01/23/2013 07:54 EST

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.
12/17/2012 12:21 EST