As you may be aware, more and more residents from the US are purchasing their prescription drugs from Canada, due to the lower prices. While this is increasing sales for pharmaceutical companies and their associates, there is a something more important that must be considered. Namely, what effect are the sales of Canadian medicine to our US neighbours having on Canada and we Canadians?
According to a number of professional groups, the outcome of these prescription sales may result in drug shortages Canada. This, in turn, can have negative repercussions on the healthcare of Canadians. As a letter sent by groups representing patients, health professionals, hospitals, and pharmacists to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor states, “‘The Canadian medicine supply is not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. consumers…The supply simply does not, and will not, exist within Canada to meet such demands.”of the potential for increasing drug shortages.'” Read more about thishere.
The importance of the patient is becoming more recognized in the healthcare sector. However, in many instances, including the pharmaceutical area, the patient is seen as simply something to talk to or to talk about.
According to a recent blog post by Mike Rea, this stance is limited and limiting in terms of who patients are and what they have to offer. As he asks in his post.
But, instead of talking to patients, what if we started listening? Not just to what they ‘need’, but what else they want? There are so many incredible groups out there now – potent patient groups (MMRF, MDA, Savvy Patients and more), who want to talk to us, who want to share. But, start to listen, and there will be a hundred hands that go up to stop you doing that.
“Did you know that the time of day when you take your blood pressure medication might be important? The University of Alberta is leading BedMed, a Canada-wide blood pressure study, to answer important questions on treatment for high blood pressure. With your help, we can find out.” (Bedmed Facebook Page.)
There is much discussion around the need for transparency in the healthcare sector, with patient advocacy groups being a strong voice in this discussion. However, what about their own transparency?
“Pharmaceutical companies gave at least $116 million to patient advocacy groups in a single year, reveals a new database logging 12,000 donations from large publicly traded drugmakers to such organizations….
The database, called “Pre$cription for Power,” shows that donations to patient advocacy groups tallied for 2015 — the most recent full year in which documents required by the Internal Revenue Service were available — dwarfed the total amount the companies spent on federal lobbying. The 14 companies that contributed $116 million to patient advocacy groups reported only about $63 million in lobbying activities that same year.
Do drug manufacturers know the effects their products have on our bodies? While we may assume that they do, according to Luke Timmerman and Meg Tirrell, this is not necessarily the case. Click here to listen to their podcast
If you are a woman and a senior, there is a potential that you have been, will be or are taking pills that are not required. According to a new study out of University of British Columbia, “nearly one in three women in this province over age 65 received inappropriate prescription medicines in 2013, compared to one in four men, who received similar prescriptions.” Why are more women being overprescribed medicine than men? What is the reason for this discrepancy? Why are senior woman, or indeed anyone, being overprescribed medication? These and other related questions are addressed here
On Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, allegations were made that Bayer HealthCare, the pharmaceutical giant, had downplayed hundreds of fetal deaths and had given illegal kickbacks to doctors, both of which relate to its contraceptive product – Essure. Click here to view the Real News Network video.
Imagine if medical treatments came with a money-back guarantee. This is what Italy is striving for. Not surprisingly, other countries are watching with interest. Will Italy be successful in its quest? Click here to read about this topic.