Monday, May 28, 2007

Cancer drug Avastin battleground in debate over fairness versus costs

I suspect that someone is eventually going to take this type of inequality to court as a Charter of Rights challenge. I'd suspect that the court would rule it's a breach of Charter rights, and would that result in a chaotic aftermath in the health care system.

While a ruling like that would appear to be a victory for patients, I think it would financially break the provincial systems, and that would bring in more of a private element into the system. Ironically, this would the opposite result that the plantiff would be looking for.

From the Canadian Press:
Two middle-aged women living on opposite sides of the country, both battling the spread of colorectal cancer, believe a medicine called Avastin separates their fates.

Ruth Tremblay of Vancouver says she's now "cancer free" because the drug is part of her treatment.

Halifax resident Judee Young wonders if her life will be cut short because her provincial government has declared the same medicine, at roughly $35,000 a year, too expensive to provide.

Young, 47, the married mother of an eight-year-old, calls the contrasts "crazy."

"It's a question of whether my health is not as important as someone else's health. I've been a taxpayer for 25 years and the time comes I need help from my government, and I can't get it."

Tremblay, 48, married and living on a yacht with four step children, said she always thought there was an equality of health care in Canada.

"What I've discovered is it's divided down by province on who gets what." ...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ruth lives with only her husband on their boat; her step children visit but do not live with them, but have still supported Ruth thru her challenging times.
Just setting the facts straight...