Health Policy Expert, Chief Executive Officer of the Gastrointestinal Society, Chair of the Best Medicines Coalition, and patient.
Gail Attara is a noted national health policy expert and Chair of the Best Medicines Coalition. Ms. Attara co-authored an academic study on the impact of drug access policy changes on patients, and is also the CEO of the Gastrointestinal Society, and a patient herself. Government, non-profit, media, medical, and corporate stakeholders regularly seek out Ms. Attara for consultations and speaking engagements from coast to coast.
One in 150 Canadians have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which represents the highest rate in the world. This means approximately 233,000 Canadians are struggling to manage the devastating effects of the two most common forms of IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the world. It is so common, that you probably know at least one person who suffers from this functional bowel disorder. It affects as many as 13-20 per cent of Canadians of every age, race, and gender at any given time, but it is most common in adult women.
All around the globe individuals and organizations shared facts about IBD and pledged their support to help find a cure. Until the cure is upon us, there is still much work to be done right now for IBD patients living in Canada, the country with the highest prevalence of the disease in the world.
Across Canada, public and private drug plans are increasingly using reference-based pricing policies to contain costs. Under reference-based pricing, drug plans reimburse the cost of the reference drug(s) in a medication class. Most often, this is the least expensive drug.
Canada's health system needs reform -- although provincial and territorial ministers might think reform is about cost cutting, I would argue that real reform is about putting patients first. As the chair of an organization representing 23 patient groups from across the country, I have seen too many conversations focused on reducing the budget impact of medications through pricing.