Combating the over-medication of seniors

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too many prescriptions

Combating the over-medication of seniorsWorking aggressively to reduce their daily medication burden may be the single best thing we can do to improve the quality of life of our aging parents and grandparents. The issue of too much medication in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized as the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to…

Fight the deadly opioid epidemic at its roots

A firewall has to be built between pharmaceutical companies and physician training programs

Fight the deadly opioid epidemic at its rootsWe are in the midst of a deadly drug epidemic so severe and widespread that few people in North America will remain untouched by it. A dramatic change in how physicians are trained is required to get the epidemic under control. Our narcotic abuse and death rates are likely at their highest in modern history. Critics…

Health Minister must reinstate funding for Cochrane Canada

Funding was terminated for Cochrane Canada, part of the key global health care resource Cochrane Collaboration, in September

Health Minister must reinstate funding for Cochrane CanadaBy Tom Perry University of British Columbia and Alan Cassels University of Victoria Imagine you’re Justin Trudeau. You’re flush with energy and idealism in a country where “better is always possible.” But the priorities you face as Canada's new prime minister are many. Now imagine you’re Canada’s new minister of health. Trudeau hands you a…

Waiting for new pharmaceutical approvals the right approach

Why Canada’s ‘slow and low’ approach is the prudent one to take

Waiting for new pharmaceutical approvals the right approachThe newest report from Canada’s brand name drug makers on access to new drugs has one key message: compared to other countries, Canada goes slow and low. New drugs are slower to be covered by our provincial drug plans and the numbers of people who get access to new drugs are lower than in other…

Think twice before institutionalizing national pharmacare

Any national pharmacare program would need an absolute firewall to protect it from the inevitable politics of drug coverage

Think twice before institutionalizing national pharmacareAmalgamation always seems like a good idea. After all, we do it with municipalities in order, we believe, to prevent duplication and save money. I don’t know much about municipal amalgamation, but joining forces for the same reasons has been suggested with something I do know about – pharmacare programs. Canada has at least 16…

Canadian employers waste $5B a year on inefficient drug coverage

Money would be better spent on increasing salaries and improving other benefits such as dental care

Canadian employers waste $5B a year on inefficient drug coverageThere is certainly a lot of waste in health systems, but one area that seems to have escaped close scrutiny is the waste in private drug plans in Canada. Estimated at over $5 billion a year, this waste represents over half of the annual prescription drug bill paid by private insurers in Canada and is…

The worst health advice you’ll get today

Misinformation about breast cancer screening still a problem

The worst health advice you’ll get todayI was about to call it a day when an email arrived with the following in the subject line: “The Best Health Advice You’ll Get Today.” That caught my attention. I was curious. And I’m a sucker for free health advice. I’ve got more than just a passing interest in health advice, seeing as I…

The unintended consequences of celebrity health endorsements

The “Angelina Jolie effect” led to an increase in unnecessary genetic tests for breast cancer

The unintended consequences of celebrity health endorsementsIs it a good idea to embark on a genetic hunting expedition to see if you’re at “high risk” of developing a particular disease? That question was examined once again last month when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) – an independent group of scientists making recommendations on medical screening – issued a warning…