Feb 27, 2017
By Jane Brown
There’s a recommendation for the federal government to address some of the existing gaps in the country’s health care system by providing universal access to 117 prescription drugs.
Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal today says the medications make up 44 per cent of all prescriptions written across Canada, and that number grows to 77 per cent if drugs that are therapeutically comparable are also included.
Co-author Doctor Steve Morgan says about one in ten people in Canada are not filling their prescriptions because they can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs.
“When patients do that for medications that are essential like the medications we looked at for this new study, their health gets worse and they end up in hospital, where the taxpayer is still footing the bill at the end of the day, and oftentimes that increased use of hospital care is actually more expensive than it would have been to provide the medicine in the first place,” Morgan explains.
Morgan says the system could also save billions of dollars per year, because a single agency would negotiate with manufacturers and ensure they get the supply necessary to justify deep discounts.
The list includes medications for treating diabetes and high blood pressure, anti-depressants, oral contraceptives and painkillers.
More on this topic on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer today between noon and 1pm.