Monday, 13 September 2010

Public Pharmacare Would Save Money, New Report Says

Who says that private is better when it comes to health care? Nobody who thinks the matter through. The latest evidence comes in a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives which shows that Canadian expenses on medication could be cut by between 10 and 42 per cent, if a universal, single-payer pharmacare program were instituted.

Marc-André Gagnon and Guillaume Hébert, the report's authors, write that "a universal drug plan providing first-dollar coverage, established alongside a rigorous drug assessment process, would not only ensure greater fairness in accessing medication and improve drug safety, but would also help contain the inflationary costs of drugs, regardless of the industrial policy Canada may choose."

That was what health economists in Quebec--including Lee--said several years ago when a drug insurance plan was instituted. Costs have been more than expected, because of administration of a multitude of plans, and because central bargaining on drug prices was not instituted.

Our health care system is something that Canadians are proud of. Publicly funded pharmacare is way to improve it. At the same time, it's essential that we be vigilant in safeguarding what we already have. More about that later....

1 comment:

Martin Langeland said...

Third leg of that stool, I think, is a neutral (disinterested doesn't quite fit) funding of medical research with the primary goal of finding what addresses the cause of dis-ease, rather than what can be sold to make a lot of money ameliorating symptoms. In a better world it would be funded through the UN to avoid over funding diseases of the rich research. That's after we get simple sanitation infrastructure installed everywhere.
I said it was a better world.
--ml ['keess' says the spam checker]