• England trials free talk therapy

    England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses. The rapidly growing initiative… offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health

  • Gene editing is not about ‘designer babies’

    In a scientific first, researchers were able to edit human embryos and remove a disease-causing mutation… But… we are not on the verge of designer babies. If anything, this study shows that modifying embryos to give them more desirable traits is more difficult than believed… The science is advancing at breakneck speed. The challenge is for ethics and the law to keep up. It’s worth noting that this type of experiment is illegal in Canada

  • Toronto’s plan for tackling opioid crisis falls short

    One of the obvious recommendations, then, from Thursday’s meeting was to speed up the opening of the three supervised injection sites… A better idea comes from harm reduction workers at the sites who argue that while the centres are being renovated for supervised injection services, temporary or mobile sites should be opened now. Pop-up clinics like that would be in line with how the city responds to a flu outbreak.

  • Ontario to cover cost of abortion pill starting Aug. 10

    The abortion pill Mifegymiso will be dispensed for free to patients across the province starting Aug. 10, Ontario’s Minister of the Status of Women said Thursday. The drug, known internationally as RU-486, currently costs $300. Eliminating the fee for the drug is “about fairness, it’s about safety, and it’s the right thing to do,” … Although the drug will now be dispensed without cost, patients will still need a prescription.

  • Prescriptions shouldn’t push brand name drugs

    … thousands of Canadian doctors use the software to take notes during patient visits and create a prescription to be filled by the patient’s pharmacy. To encourage pharmacists to fill the prescription with their brand name drug, pharmaceutical companies have paid Telus (the company won’t say how much) to digitally insert vouchers on the prescription so that pharmacists will reach for their drug rather than a lower-cost generic made by a competitor.

  • Ottawa’s new tax measures unfairly target many doctors

    The reason physicians (and other small business owners) retain money in a corporation is because they don’t have pensions or benefits like many salaried employees… Governments can, of course, change policy. But if they adopt measures that make incorporation unattractive and impossible to accumulate retirement savings, then they need to provide an alternative, such as salaries and pensions. That would mean a fundamental revamp of how physicians are remunerated.

  • A sea change in the war on smoking

    Prohibition doesn’t work – whether we’re talking opioids or tobacco. Harm reduction, though it often makes us uncomfortable, does work. Smoking low-nicotine cigarettes is better than smoking high-nicotine ones, and vaping is better than smoking. Those are the kind of plain language messages that regulators and public-health officials need to deliver in Canada, not just the U.S.

  • Doctors use this software during patient visits. Now Big Pharma is tapping it to sell their drugs

    Concerned physicians say a clinical tool they use to write prescriptions and care for patients is being co-opted, and they fear health records are being tapped so drug companies can increase profits. In the battle for pharmaceutical dominance, this new tactic, deployed in software used by doctors, has allowed brand-name companies to capitalize on the moment a prescription is written.

  • Canada resists health-care reform, despite overwhelming evidence we need it

    Presumably, health care reform is an issue that could resonate with Canadians if politicians got the messaging right. The problem, though, is that may first require our leaders to disabuse the public of the fantasy that our system is first-rate—a bubble no politician is likely inclined to voluntarily pop. Perhaps a court ruling confirming long wait times and patient rights will pop it for them.

  • What Canadians Can Learn from America’s Healthcare Debacle

    Healthcare becomes the embodiment of a nation. We speak with pride of our commitment to a social system that relies and insists upon the idea that I will look after you when you are old, and that the next generation will look after me when I am old. It is… a part of who we are as Canadians. Our healthcare, with all its imperfections, has become an integral part of our identities.