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Access-to-medicine bill is mired in Parliamentary red tape

Photo: fauxto_digital/Flickr

A parliament battle currently raging gives the impression that the Conservative government isn't keen on delivering affordable drugs to children dying from HIV in the rest of the world.

Of course, many members of the public disagree, especially the 30,261 signatories of a petition calling for the government to support Bill C-393.



Big Pharma and the real story behind drug costs

Canadians pay 16 to 40 per cent more for drugs than the average of industrialized countries. A national Pharmacare program, as a half-dozen countries already have, would save Canada over $10 billion a year on its $25-billion drug bill. Even other reforms short of a full national program would save billions in administration costs, drug costs (through bulk buying) and eliminated tax subsidies.

This claim is the argument of a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Since rising drug prices are one of the main drivers of a health-care system said to be headed for unsustainability, shouldn't we be curious about checking this out?

A treatment for multiple sclerosis that upsets Big Pharma

In a breakthrough in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, last summer Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon from the University of Ferrara in Italy, made public the results of findings from his study of 65 MS patients.

Dr. Zamboni and colleagues investigated CCSVI -- Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency -- a condition characterized by blockages in the veins causing problems in the blood flow drainage from the brain and/or spinal cord of sufferers. This condition has been shown to contribute in a significant way to the many symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It can be relieved by angioplasty, which is a simple surgical treatment that removes the blockages.


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