Lack of pharma trans­parency in­creases drug costs for ev­ery­one

Toronto Star - - CANADA -

Re MDs urge feds to open books on pharma-physi­cian back-scratch­ing, June 9 We ap­plaud Dr. Andrew Boozary for lift­ing the lid on the prac­tices of drug com­pa­nies who curry favour with physi­cians.

Pa­tients de­serve to know if their health providers are re­ceiv­ing pay­ments or other ben­e­fits in re­turn for pre­scrib­ing cer­tain med­i­ca­tions.

The lack of trans­parency is one of the rea­sons Cana­di­ans pay as much as 35 per cent more for pre­scrip­tion drugs than peo­ple in other in­dus­tri­al­ized coun­tries in the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and Developmen­t.

It also un­der­scores the need for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to play a larger role when it comes to bal­loon­ing drug ex­pen­di­tures.

On­tario has paved the way with its prom­ise to pro­vide ev­ery­one un­der the age of 25 with full drug cov­er­age.

Imag­ine the ben­e­fits if the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­vided uni­ver­sal cov­er­age of med­i­ca­tions in the same way it of­fers its cit­i­zens uni­ver­sal ac­cess to health care.

It would lead to lower drug prices and ad­min­is­tra­tive costs through a sin­gle-payer ap­proach, bet­ter health and bud­get out­comes through proper pre­scrib­ing pro­to­cols and a value-for­money ap­proach, and im­proved ac­cess to health care by pro­vid­ing drug cov­er­age to mil­lions of Cana­di­ans who don’t have it. Doris Grin­spun, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Reg­is­tered Nurses’ As­so­ci­a­tion of On­tario

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