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?
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By current standards of drug coverage, George Rozon considers himself lucky. As a long-term diabetic (Type 1), who has had heart surgery and also a kidney transplant, drugs mean life to George. After 30 years working at a cardboard box plant in Alberta, he retired early for health reasons and now, aged 59, lives in rural Nova Scotia.
On Wednesday, September 19 at noon, 200 people froze in the streets of Geneva to protest the attack on generic medicines by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Watch to see how passersby reacted and to hear Medecins Sans Frontieres and others chant, "LIVES BEFORE PROFITS."