• Covering drugs for young people isn’t the best way to fill gaps in health care

    In an international health survey, about 11 per cent of Ontarians said they may not fill a drug prescription due to cost, but roughly three times that many say they skip dental services for that reason. Further, far too many young people end up in emergency rooms for severe mental health issues; others walk around with improper prescription eyeglasses or rely heavily on family caregivers for home support.

  • Ontario’s Universal Drug Program Will Be The First Of Its Kind In Canada

    As Canadians, we pride ourselves on our Medicare system. It embodies our shared belief that everyone should have access to health care, no matter what their circumstances. And pharmacare is one of the most important steps we can take to rededicate ourselves to that principle. I remain optimistic that one day we will achieve our goal of a national pharmacare program for all Canadians… I’m proud that our government… is blazing a new path with OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, the most significant expansion of Medicare in Canada since its creation 50 years ago.

  • Time for full transparency on pharmaceutical money

    Industry funds physician education and helps create free medical textbooks that favour corporate products. These subtle forms of pay-for-play fill out industry’s marketing strategy that includes free lunches for residents and the funding of patient advocacy groups that lobby governments for drug and device approval and funding… transparency helps disentangle fraud from responsible corporate citizenship.

  • Ontario court orders end to secrecy around names of highest-paid MDs

    Ontario’s Divisional Court has ordered an end to the secrecy surrounding the province’s highest-billing doctors… The court accepted that the names of the doctors, in conjunction with the amounts they receive in OHIP payments and their medical specialties, are not “personal information.” They are, therefore, not exempt from disclosure under the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

  • Quebec expects to save millions with overhaul of generic-drug purchasing process

    In the new system, the government has capped rebates pharmacists can receive at 15 per cent. Drug purchases will now be centralized under one competitive bid for any generic drug that has at least three competitive manufacturers. Contracts will run up to three years. Brand-name drugs are not part of the new plan… Business analysts anticipate the province could save 25 per cent to 35 per cent on its $800-million generic-drug bill if the system was implemented and proved effective.

  • Open Pharma wants public to know ties between MDs and pharmaceutical industry

    … the Open Pharma campaign is not “anti-pharma,” nor does it aim to ban industry involvement with the medical profession. It’s about being open about relationships in the interest of upholding public confidence… “Canada at the moment seems like it’s a laggard in this regard… The world is moving in the direction of providing patients with context about interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and doctors.”

  • There’s room for competition in public health care

    … in Britain, any reforms which encourage competition and choice are viewed as covert attempts to privatize our revered NHS (National Health Service)… Reforms in England have sought to increase competition between hospitals for public funds. The bottom line is these have benefited patients – but introducing more choice and competition also means the rules of the game need to be carefully designed and monitored.

  • Medicare doesn’t have to be expensive. Just look at Israel

    … per-capita pharmaceutical spending in Israel is $287… well below that of Canada’s $761 and the OECD average of $527… several features of the Israeli approach… include the setting of an annual budget; the consideration of all proposed new medications simultaneously… the involvement of all key players in the prioritization process; using the prioritization process to secure concessions… – price and volume; and a growing level of transparency.

  • How to improve Indigenous health? Address jurisdictional disputes

    Despite having been involved in the funding and delivery of health services to First Nations and Inuit since 1945, the federal government has yet to clearly define its obligations to First Nations and Inuit in relation to the provision of health services… More than 80 per cent of First Nations and Inuit communities now manage their own community-based health services. Evidence shows that these communities have better health outcomes.

  • What’s at risk for Canada in the American health-care war?

    If strong provisions that exclude health care from free trade are not maintained, and in fact strengthened, in any renegotiated trade agreement, American insurance companies and health-care delivery organizations could claim the right to a Canadian private health-care “market.” … not far from here, health-care insurance is a good that is sold in the marketplace like softwood lumber.