• On safe injection sites, why can’t conservatives just let people not die?

    Once conservatives get past the ideological hurdle of harm reduction, they ought to be impressed by its simplicity: Two volunteers in a tent with a bunch of naloxone kits and $200 in supplies from any pharmacy can provide the most basic service, which is ensuring that people do not die

  • Ontario should stop stalling on making payments to doctors public

    … it is so alarming that months after taking office the Ford government has yet to enact regulations that would bring into force the Health Sector Transparency Act passed by the previous Liberal government. It should quit stalling. The legislation would compel drug companies and those that manufacture medical devices to publicly report cash payments, free dinners, trips and other benefits they dole out to doctors, dentists and pharmacists.

  • Hatred of Big Pharma won’t get us better drug prices

    Talking about the price of drugs is very 20th century; in the 21st century, and the impending era of personalized medicine, what matters is the value treatments provide. For drugs such as Remicade, we should be paying, and paying fairly, when the drug works, when it delivers on a specific treatment goal.

  • How a blockbuster drug tells the story of why Canada’s spending on prescriptions is sky high

    Canada pays the third-highest drug prices among the countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and spends more per capita on prescriptions than any country except the United States and Switzerland… Like generic drugs before them, biosimilars could free up money for governments and private insurers to cover the newest generation of miracle cures, including expensive gene therapies

  • Pharmacare is not a top health-care priority for Canadians, poll finds

    The Pollara survey was funded by the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, a group that represents 6,500 pharmacies across the country… A study published this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that almost 1 million Canadians cut back on food and heat spending to afford their medication, while nearly 2 million people have reported not being able to afford at least one of their prescribed drugs in the past year.

  • The truth behind wait times and private health care

    We have emergent issues to address in our health care system, but most come from its two-tiered part, not its universal part. Thirty per cent of our system is private… Our health outcomes are impaired by the lack of non-physician public health care: lack of dental care that drives people to the ED for tooth pain, lack of physiotherapy that results in a reliance on opiates for back pain rather than desperately needed manual therapy, and a lack of pharmacare that ends in 1-in-10 Canadians being unable to fill their prescriptions.

  • Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

    … According to that report [by financial consultants EY Canada and released last week] Ontario could “reconsider application of universality to all programs,” opting instead for “means-testing to selected programs.” … It provides no specifics. But just about the only two services the province provides to Ontarians without a fee, regardless of their income, are health care and public education.

  • Study shows how national pharmacare plan could work

    The authors are scathingly critical of those… who would use pharmacare to merely “fill in the gaps” left by existing private and public plans. Such an approach, they write, is merely a euphemism for off-loading the drug costs of expensive, high-risk patients onto the public system while leaving private insurers free to focus on those who are relatively healthy and thus more profitable… to be at all useful, a national pharmacare system must be universal…

  • Decriminalization is one powerful force to ease the overdose crisis

    When possession of drugs is a crime, it creates giant barriers to harm reduction and treatment. First and foremost, it means drugs will be supplied by criminals, and the supply will be unregulated, potentially unsafe and over-priced. This, in turn, means more overdoses, more deaths and more hospitalizations.

  • Canada must seize the moment to get pharmacare right

    … the new provincial government has announced the cancellation of OHIP+, which provided prescription drug coverage for seniors and people under 25. This announcement turns back efforts to provide greater access to prescription drugs for Ontarians. Without a national pharmacare program, Ontarians will see greater costs and fewer benefits… Failure to take medication as prescribed can greatly reduce health outcomes and put lives at risk. It also adds strain and cost to a health-care system that is already overburdened.