Over the past year I’ve lost track of how many times the opioid epidemic has, in one incarnation or another (Prince, naloxone, fentanyl, newborns in agonizing withdrawal and so on) found its way onto the front page news.
“Without universal pharmacare, many Canadians must choose their jobs – or when to retire – based on availability of prescription drug insurance rather than life and career ambition. This hurts workers, employers and our economy.” Steve Morgan, Professor of Health Policy, University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health. Danielle Martin, Physician and […]
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.
Ontario spends $11-billion per year on prescription drugs. Nearly half of this is spent on medicines used by senior citizens, a group that receives public subsidies for nearly all of their prescription drug costs in Ontario.
There’s one significant frontier in the medicalization of women’s bodies that remains elusive: drug treatment for female sexuality.
Health Ministers from across Canada will gather in Banff to discuss issues of common interest and explore opportunities to work together. Pharmacare — a program that would see all prescription drug costs covered through a publicly funded system instead of out-of-pocket — will almost certainly be on the agenda.
In my first career as a pharmacist, I worked in more than 30 pharmacies across Nova Scotia, filling more than 100,000 prescriptions between 1990 and 1995. Some of these were for strong painkillers called opioids — drugs like morphine and oxycodone, which are chemically and biologically very similar to heroin.
“The misuse of opioids has grown exponentially with devastating consequences” – First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis (Canadian Council on Substance Abuse, 2013).
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.