• Big Pharma marketing scheme banned by Ontario

    The electronic vouchers steer patients to brand name drugs over their less expensive generic equivalents, and have raised concerns that patients’ health records are being used to sell pricier drugs that can pile unnecessary costs onto private insurance plans. The voucher feature, found in medical record software owned by Telus Health and other companies, will be disabled over the coming weeks, said Hoskins.

  • Ontario to sell cannabis at government-run stores, online

    Despite calls from many premiers for more guidance on the file, the federal government has committed to legalizing the recreational use of the drug by July 1. But, to date, Ottawa has indicated that it will leave the contentious issues of regulating the wholesale distribution and retailing of cannabis up to the provinces and territories.

  • Unions want pharmacare plan for all Canadians

    We need a pharmacare plan that covers all Canadians. Just think about what that would mean for the one in five people paying out of pocket for their medication today, either because they don’t have a prescription drug plan, or because they have a plan that doesn’t cover the full cost of the medications they need… An estimated 8.4 million working Canadians don’t have prescription drug coverage… We have the second highest prescription drug costs in the world

  • How Canada got addicted to fentanyl

    The supply chain for illicit fentanyl begins in China, but the problems Canada is experiencing start right here at home: No other country in the world consumes more prescription opioids on a per-capita basis, according to a recent United Nations report. The widespread use of prescription opioids is behind the rise of a new class of drug addicts, many of whom are turning to the black market to feed their habit… many of those deaths could have been avoided.

  • Canada suffers from unimaginative government. Here are some radical ideas

    There is no serious discussion of health-care reform, though Canada is one of the few countries in the world that claims to ban private medicine. We are in fact rationing medical care for many victims of chronic health problems, and have failed to advance any policy option except throwing more tax-paid funds at the question… There has been no attempt to make welfare and poverty-reduction more effective…

  • Doctors and pharmacists must step up to help women access abortion pill

    … confusion reigns over how women can access a drug that Health Canada approved for use in this country a full two years ago. That’s plain wrong. Health Canada, the province and doctors and pharmacists must work together to clear away the obstacles preventing women from accessing this legal drug. Anything less is unacceptable.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • PET brain scans show many Alzheimer’s patients may not actually have the disease

    A significant portion of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia who are taking medication for Alzheimer’s may not actually have the disease… The findings could change the way doctors treat people in these hard-to-diagnose groups and save money currently being spent on inappropriate medication… “we’re getting a 66 per cent change… of people who are on a drug and didn’t need to be on those drugs.”