Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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Government of Canada invests close to $101M in Indigenous health research across the country

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

The purpose of the NEIHR Program is to establish a national network of nine centres located across the country focused on capacity development, research and knowledge translation centered on Indigenous Peoples… it will support Indigenous community-based health research based upon the priorities and values of Indigenous Peoples.

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Universal, Single-Payer Public Pharmacare in Canada: An Overview of the Proposed Model

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

This bulletin summarizes the key recommendations, which include implementation beginning in 2020; an ability for provinces and territories to opt in; new federal legislation and fiscal transfers to the provinces and territories; a $100 cap on annual household out of pocket spending; a national formulary covering essential medicine by 2022 and comprehensive coverage by 2027; and a dedicated process for assessment and coverage for expensive drugs for rare diseases.

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Big hurdles remain in pharmacare implementation plan

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

The national pharmacare advisory council’s ambitious report presents a staged, eight-year plan to reduce drug costs and make public drug coverage universal with the participation of the provinces. But there are major stumbling blocks ahead. The report is silent on how the initiative would be paid for; it proposes a convoluted and unequal federal funding transfer to encourage provincial and territorial participation; and, it makes potentially naïve assumptions about how private insurers will react to the expansion of public drug insurance.

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Ontario health quality will suffer under the Peoples Health Act

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

The board of Ontario Health seems to think that only front-line workers are needed to provide health care and the back-office staff responsible for measuring and comparing quality as well as holding clinical programs accountable for high quality results can be disposed of. It is naïve to think that busy clinicians can both provide care and do the data collection and analysis that quality improvement requires without back office support.

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Should there be ‘presumed consent’ for organ donations?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Yes – Ontario, with these things in place, has seen donation rates double to 25 donors per million (DPM). Could an “opt-out” approach help Canada get from a donor rate of 22 DPM toward 40 DPM, the rates in the most successful countries in the world? / No – loosening permission requirements around donation could strike the more circumspect among us as too much boundary revision, too fast, with too little accountability.

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Why are we forever chasing the dream of a universal drug plan?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

… derailed by opposing political agendas, fierce resistance from private insurers, public ambivalence and voter apathy… universal pharmacare isn’t merely about equity and ideology, but efficacy and efficiency… The challenge is to make those savings feel real, not notional… that cost-benefit tradeoff must be spelled out clearly to persuade people that the savings end up in their pockets.

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Report goes all in on pharmacare, and that may be a mistake

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

The bottom line is that Canada’s inconsistent drug coverage can’t be fixed without government intervention of some kind. That includes lowering the nation’s drug bill by creating a government system of bulk purchases, limiting drug co-pays and regulating premiums.

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Five decades in the making, our national pharmacare still has a long way to go

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Canada should take a leap forward here and look to include in a national formulary not only with the most important medicines, but the most important medical devices. The secret sauce in all of this will be smart, strategic negotiations on behalf of all Canadians with drug and device manufacturers to reward real breakthroughs and the backbone to say no to coverage for drugs and devices that just don’t deliver on value for money.

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Putting values into practice on pharmacare will come at a cost

Friday, June 14th, 2019

The catch is that there would be a massive shift of drug costs from private plans to public plans, an “incremental public cost” of $15.3-billion… Practically, it also means the feds would have to raise taxes by at least $15-billion a year. That, not poor values, is the single biggest impediment to national pharmacare. The other related hurdle is that a national plan would require an unprecedented level of federal-provincial-territorial co-operation.

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The Fallacy of Federal Advantage in Delivering Pharmacare

Friday, May 17th, 2019

… the 2019 federal budget proposed the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency to conduct health technology assessments, negotiate prices and listing terms… That is, the new agency could substantially lower the national drug budget even if the federal and provincial/territorial governments are not able to agree on a single-payer government plan… Prescription drugs are an increasingly large component of total healthcare costs, and should be integrated with other areas of health spending and policies to control it.

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