Monday, January 21, 2008

Canada's health-care system compares poorly with Europe

From the Edmonton Journal:
...In pharmaceuticals, Canada performs poorly. While the top-ranked health-care states in Europe provide public funding for over 90 per cent of all spending on drugs, we publicly finance just 38 per cent of prescription costs, giving us a failing grade for this indicator. However, price is not the only obstacle to accessible pharmaceuticals for Canadians. Most provinces lack a publicly available formulary that explains in layman's terms what drugs are covered and under what circumstances. While access to new cancer-fighting drugs is about average compared to Europe, new drugs in general are available in Canada for over a year before they are eligible for public funding. One approach to improving access and outcomes might be to lower the ceiling for drug subsidies and promptly include effective new drugs in the formulary. ...more

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