Turning the tide on the harm of opioids

As clinicians, we are bound by professionalism and our ethical responsibilities to do no harm and to do what we can to address the pain and suffering of our patients. When powerful pain relieving opioid medications were introduced a few decades ago, they seemed to be a way to do both. We now know that […]

Is waiting longer for new prescription drug approvals necessarily a bad thing?

The newest report from Canada’s brand name drug makers on access to new drugs has one key message: compared to other countries, Canada goes slow and low. New drugs are slower to be covered by our provincial drug plans and the numbers of people who get access to new drugs are lower than in other countries.

Why we should think twice before we institutionalize national pharmacare

Amalgamation always seems like a good idea. Greater Victoria has 13 municipalities, 13 councils, oodles of separate fire and police departments and multiple separate teams of garbage-persons, road fixers, parks maintainers and others that you need to keep our cities humming.

Four things needed to make pharmacare work for Canadians

A growing number of health professionals, patients, community groups and even politicians are calling for national pharmacare. But many Canadians likely wonder what pharmacare is and whether Canada is ready for it.

Why is it so hard to get help for mental illness in Canada

In Canada, only one in five people with depression gets appropriate treatment. And in Ontario, only one in three patients discharged from psychiatric hospitalization will get a follow-up within the month. Why is Canada doing so poorly in helping people with mental illness?

Why Canadian employers waste $5 billion a year on inefficient drug coverage

Employers in Canada spend an estimated 5 billion dollars a year on drug coverage for their employees. Yet, private plans are notoriously inefficient and they often cover higher priced drugs that are not necessarily better for consumers’ health, explains Alan Cassels.

Why employers in Canada waste $5 billion a year on inefficient drug coverage

There is certainly a lot of waste in health systems, but one area that seems to have escaped close scrutiny is the waste in private drug plans in Canada. To put it simply, that waste is gut-churning.

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.

How a national drug plan can boost the Canadian economy

Canadians pay among the highest costs per capita among OECD countries for prescription drugs, with one Canadian out of 10 unable to fill their prescriptions because of financial reasons.