Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

We must rethink our approach to battling opioid abuse

As fentanyl deaths continue to rise, we cannot continue to pretend that we are on the path to solving this problem

We must rethink our approach to battling opioid abuseBy Gabriela Novotna and Tom McIntosh University of Regina Thirteen Canadians a day were hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), and the rate of opioid poisoning  hospitalizations has been steadily rising. What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller once thought to…

Catastrophic pharmacare is a catastrophe

Why the provinces don’t need $3 billion in federal tax dollars for flawed prescription drug policies

Catastrophic pharmacare is a catastropheLast week, the CD Howe Institute called on Ottawa to give provinces nearly $3-billion to establish national standards for catastrophic drug coverage and to mandate a system of transparent price negotiations with pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. Acting on those recommendations would represent a major step backward for Canada, one that would cost Canadians billions of dollars…

Pharmacare is for kids too

What do you do if your child is sick and you must decide between buying prescribed medicine or food?

Pharmacare is for kids tooBy Avram Denburg Canadian Doctors for Medicare and Steve Morgan University of British Columbia You are the parent of a sick child. You have a limited budget and you must decide to buy the medicine the doctor prescribed for your child or provide food and shelter for your family instead. What do you do? Sadly,…

Canada’s $500-million drug problem

Piecemeal drug insurance coverage costs cities – and taxpayers - plenty

Canada’s $500-million drug problemCanada's cities face a number of problems, including traffic congestion, housing costs, crime rates and shabby infrastructure. Now prescription drugs can be added to the list; it is a problem that is costing local governments as much as $500 million every year. Recognizing that access to necessary medicines is critical for health and wellbeing, many…

Pharmacare is good for business

Businesses need help managing the complexity and high cost of drug benefits

Pharmacare is good for businessBy Steve Morgan University of British Columbia and Danielle Martin Women’s College Hospital The lack of public coverage of prescription drugs is bad for Canadian businesses, large and small. Here’s why: With the growing use and cost of prescription drugs, managing drug benefits has become much more complex and difficult for businesses to sustain. Regrettably,…

National drug plan would reduce public, private spending

Any perceived barriers appear to be unjustified

National drug plan would reduce public, private spendingA new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal with health economist Steve Morgan as lead author argues a national universal care drug program would not result in substantial tax increases. Indeed, such a plan reduces public and private spending on prescription drugs by $7.3 billion annually – or by 32 per cent. According to…

Four ways to make pharmacare work for Canadians

Canada only developed country with a universal healthcare system that does not include universal coverage of prescription drugs

Four ways to make pharmacare work for CanadiansA 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. Let’s start at the beginning. Affordable access to safe and properly prescribed prescription medicines is so critical to patient health that the World…
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