“What happens to our sons and daughters with disabilities when we die?”

“What happens to our sons and daughters with disabilities when we die?”

Fix the RDSP and close the poverty gap of Canadians with disabilities   Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is the first poverty-fighting tool for people with disabilities in the world. This remarkable example of federal/provincial/territorial cooperation, which was created in 2008, has already changed the lives of more than 150,000 Canadians with disabilities. Unfortunately, […]

Death’s tug of war with mystery and science

Death’s tug of war with mystery and science

An obsession with ‘present mindedness’ wipes out concerns about past or future. ~ Harold Innis I count myself as lucky to have been born when death was still pretty much a mystery, more the prerogative of poets and other artists, philosophers and religious teachers than of scientists and doctors. I grew up surrounded by death. […]

A tsunami of antibiotic resistance is coming—and Canada must take charge

A tsunami of antibiotic resistance is coming—and Canada must take charge

At the beginning of the last century, illnesses due to bacterial infections ranked as the most common cause of death in Canada.  By the latter third of the century, the diagnosis, prevention and management of infectious diseases had advanced dramatically, raising hopes that many of these infections would be consigned to history. The dramatic improvements […]

Purdue Pharma given free reign in Canada as it is sanctioned in the United States

Purdue Pharma given free reign in Canada as it is sanctioned in the United States

Opioid manufacturer admits to illegal activity in the United States but faces no penalties in Canada   Purdue Pharma recently announced that it will stop advertising opioids to doctors in the United States after pleading guilty to misleading marketing more than a decade ago. This is a major, albeit belated, departure from the company’s playbook […]

Eat more plants, less meat

Eat more plants, less meat

Canada’s Food Guide revamp is good for people and the planet   What is a healthy diet? New Year’s diet conversations still abound around water coolers Canada-wide as people debate the various merits and shortcomings of sugar, gluten, meat, dairy, tofu and other edibles.  Scientific articles, shiny celebrities and representatives of various groups who produce, […]

Social media can help drive health-care change

Social media can help drive health-care change

Why is Health Canada aiding private blood firms?

Why is Health Canada aiding private blood firms?

Most Canadians don’t understand food nutrition labels

Most Canadians don’t understand food nutrition labels

As January comes to an end, those who vowed to eat better in 2015 have probably already given up. Not very surprising, considering that most people grossly underestimate the amount of calories they consume, and underestimate their fat, salt and sugar consumption, even after consulting nutrition labels.

Health Canada fails to enforce its own rules on pharmaceutical advertising

Health Canada fails to enforce its own rules on pharmaceutical advertising

A handsome man struts over to the office water cooler with a smirk on his face. When his colleagues ask about his weekend, he replies enthusiastically, with audio muted. A large blue pill appears with the tagline, “Viagra, Ask Your Doctor.” Vibrant, energetic older people are shown swimming, bowling and having a good time. With a twinkle in their eye, they suggest the viewer “ask your doctor” about Celebrex.

Backgrounder: Pharmaceutical policy in Canada

Backgrounder: Pharmaceutical policy in Canada

Pharmaceutical costs have been rising dramatically over the past three decades, both in real terms and as a component of health care spending. In 2012, Canadians spent $947 per capita a year on pharmaceuticals, up from $147 per capita in 1985.