PHARMA

Don’t buy pharma’s lies about a universal pharmacare program
STEVE MORGAN / Times Colonist May 9, 2019 
Having thousands of different drug plans in Canada drives up administration costs while fragmenting our purchasing power on the global market for pharmaceuticals. Pharma loves this. So, too, do insurance companies. It is why Canadian households and businesses spend far more on prescriptions and related insurance premiums than households and businesses in countries with universal, public pharmacare systems.

National drug care plan funding announcement creates more questions
Elianna Lev Yahoo Canada News – March 20, 2019
Canada remains the only country with universal healthcare but no national drug plan.
While the feds have set the wheels in motion for a national pharmacare plan, many of the crucial details remain unknown. It’s unclear if the program will be funded through a single-payer plan, similar to how most Canadians pay for doctors and hospitals, or go by a “fill-in-the-gaps” approach, as they do in Quebec, where both public and private insurance is used.
Danyaal Raza, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, calls the announcement “an important building block”.

Canada’s Unions welcome first steps on pharmacare
March 6, 2019
“The recommendations in today’s report have the potential to increase access and move to lower costs if implemented alongside a universal, national, public pharmacare program,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.  “Delivering this through a pharmacare model designed similarly to Medicare will ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to the medications they need, as they do right now with hospitals and doctors,” he continued.

Canada has the key to lowering drug prices. Here’s why it won’t be used any time soon
Kelly Crowe · CBC News · Nov 24, 2018
The federal government has developed a series of regulations that would lower Canada’s patented drug prices, which are among the highest in the world. Canada is second only to the United States in per capita drug costs. But the new rules were like a gauntlet thrown down in the path of the pharmaceutical industry, which has been lobbying federal government officials ever since.
“Drug companies understand very well what’s at stake, and they’re massively mobilizing to make sure nothing happens,” said Marc-André Gagnon, a pharmaceutical policy researcher at Carleton University.

Universal Pharmacare and Federalism
Colleen M. Flood, Bryan Thomas, Asad Ali Moten and Patrick Fafard
Sept 12, 2018
Canada is the only OECD country with universal health insurance that does not include coverage of prescription pharmaceuticals. Some provinces have taken steps to provide drug insurance coverage for the poor, the elderly and people facing catastrophic costs (there are some 70 drug funding programs across the country). However, access to essential medicines depends on factors such as age, medical condition, income and province of residence. It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of Canadians have no drug insurance.

(Similkameen Spotlight) Too many Canadians can’t afford their medication
SOHC (Support Our Health Care) – Letter to the Editor

Pharma companies could be forced to reveal payments to B.C. doctors
Bethany Lindsay – Jun 25, 2018 5:15
B.C. could soon require drug companies to reveal any payments they make to doctors and other health professionals in an attempt to be transparent about any potential conflicts of interest. If it goes ahead, the province’s proposed health sector payment transparency program would cover payments and services handed out by pharmaceutical companies and equipment manufacturers.
“I think what it does is it puts the patient more at the centre of health care, so the patient has knowledge and responsibility,” Health Minister Adrian Dix told CBC.

Government adds pharmacists into primary and community care
June 5, 2018
The Ministry of Health is adding 50 new clinical pharmacists as part of primary-care network teams around the province. The ministry is supporting this new developmental program, with $23 million over three years, and is working with University of British Columbia’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences to manage the program.

Cities & States Sue Big Pharma Targeting the Firms who Profited from Peddling Addictive Opioids 
Democracy Now – June 01, 2018 New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this year that the city would sue manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids to account for their part in the city’s ongoing deadly opioid epidemic. Firms named in the suit include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and McKesson Corporation. 

All Canadians deserve pharmacare, not just MPs
The Star – Feb. 10, 2018
The MPs mulling options for publicly funding medications will take their sweet time. There is no rush for them because they already have the type of publicly funded access that is being contemplated for other Canadians. While about 3 million Canadians do not take medications as directed because of the cost, MPs and other lawmakers enjoy platinum medication plans for themselves and their families.