Thursday, December 4, 2014
Pharmacare in Canada: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
Despite what I do for a living, I won't claim to know anything about pharmaceuticals, their patents and the generic drug industry but I thought Canada's patent law supported generic drugs to make drugs cheaper for us. Apparently not, Canadians pay an average of 50% more per capita on prescription drugs than residents of other developed countries.
I'm pretty healthy, knock on wood, and basically never have to take prescription drugs. So this whole pharmacare “debate” going on right now in Canada comes as a bit of a shock to me. I mean, really, it seems like a no brainer: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Apparently, Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal health-care system that doesn't cover the cost of prescription drugs. As I understand it, publicly funded access to prescription drugs results in bulk buying power and this results in lower costs.
So what's the problem? Economist Bob Evans recently described the main obstacle for the implementation of universal pharmacare in Canada: “Anyone’s spending is somebody else’s income. Universal pharmacare could save billions to Canadians, so there are powerful corporate interests that will do everything they can to make sure it does not happen.”