• 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

  • 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.

  • To understand U.S. health care, think like an American

    Canada spends roughly half as much as the United States on health care, yet has comparable or better outcomes on most health barometers… The widely accepted view that more care is not necessarily better care has yet to penetrate the American psyche. Those with good insurance use it to the max. Doctors and hospitals are complicit in this overconsumption, treating the well-insured as cash cows.

  • 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.