ACTION: Tell Gvt. Canadians want PHARMACARE Program

ACTION: Tell Gvt. Canadians want PHARMACARE Program

Postby Oscar » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:24 am

ACTION: Please go to this online action alert [https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=53627 ] to send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott that says, "I call on you to protect, strengthen and expand Canada’s public health care system by showing the political leadership necessary to develop a national pharmacare program [and by creating] a publicly funded national drug approval agency."

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Federal health minister plans to save billions on drug prices, but needs to commit to pharmacare

[ http://canadians.org/blog/federal-healt ... pharmacare ]

January 13, 2017 - 7:40 am

Federal health minister Jane Philpott says the Liberal government will address the high price of pharmaceutical drugs in the coming months and save Canadians "billions of dollars a year" by doing so.

CBC reports, "An analysis by the fifth estate shows that Canadians, for example, pay far more than people in New Zealand for drugs produced by the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company. For every dollar Canadians spend on seven popular drugs sold by Apotex in both countries, Kiwis spend just 11.5 cents. And overall, according to several studies, Canadian pays the second-highest drug prices in the world, after only people living in the United States."

"In her interview with the fifth estate, Philpott said she plans to change Canadian regulations to force drug companies to lower their prices. The reforms, she says, will bring Canadians prices 'down in line with what we're seeing in countries like New Zealand'. 'We are going to be introducing some of this work in the coming months', she told the fifth estate."

The article explains, "Drug prices in Canada are regulated by comparing what we pay to the average price paid by seven other countries. As long as our prices are in line with that average, no action can be taken. The problem, Philpott said, is the United States is one of those seven countries, which skews the average high because the United States has the highest drug prices in the world. She wants to remove the United States from that list and replace it with a country like New Zealand, which has some of the lowest drug prices in the world."

The CBC also highlights, "Canada is the only developed country with universal health care that doesn't have some form of universal pharmacare. A growing number of academics and advocates are urging the Canadian government to create a system of universal pharmacare like New Zealand in order to push our drug prices even lower. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, more than three million Canadians can't afford to pay for their prescription drugs. That can lead to diseases going untreated or worse."

And it explains, "In Canada, the drug purchasing system is split between a public system funded by the provincial and federal governments for poorer, older and indigenous Canadians and a private system, mostly funded by employers, for working Canadians. About 20 per cent of Canadians pay for their own drugs. But if Canada had a single purchasing and negotiating agency like New Zealand, experts say there would be more leverage to negotiate better drug prices."

In April 2016, Council of Canadians health care campaigner Michael Butler wrote, "It came as a major disappointment that Health Minister Jane Philpott has just indicated pharmacare is not part of her mandate. It has been reported that the minister believes pharmacare is too costly and she has highlighted it will not be introduced in this Parliament. It is hard to understand why the minister is ignoring the evidence-based data that shows Canada could improve health outcomes and save costs with a national pharmacare program."

Butler says, “Polls show 91 per cent of Canadians want a national pharmacare program, and studies show implementing one could save up to $11 billion dollars annually.”

In addition, CBC reported yesterday that, "Canada wasted $15 billion over the last five years on highly priced prescription drugs, in part because of questionable drug company sales tactics." Butler says, "To address this we need a new national agency to provide transparency and accountability in the process of determining what drugs are covered based on appropriateness, safety, value for money, and objective evidence-based medical reviews."

Please go to this online action alert [https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=53627 ] to send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott that says, "I call on you to protect, strengthen and expand Canada’s public health care system by showing the political leadership necessary to develop a national pharmacare program [and by creating] a publicly funded national drug approval agency."

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ http://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
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