Wednesday, February 04, 2009

National drug plan needed: Report

From the Vancouver Sun:
Governments must act now to make sure prescription drug costs are affordable — especially for many newly unemployed Canadians who have lost not only their paycheques but also their medical benefits, a new report says.

In the Health Council of Canada report, expected to be released Friday, the federal, provincial and territorial governments are urged to "re-engage" and get back to work on the National Pharmaceutical Strategy that was agreed to in 2004 to address the safety and affordability of prescription drugs.

"We have, across the country, a patchwork of different provincial drug plans," said John Abbott, interim CEO of the Health Council.

"Coverage is sporadic and those on low incomes, particularly those now that may face unemployment because of the economic uncertainty in Canada, are going to be most vulnerable."

The national drug strategy aims to improve nine key areas, among them reducing drug costs, providing faster access to new drugs, improving the way drugs are monitored once they're on the market, and developing options for catastrophic drug coverage....more

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