Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Part Two of The Current
The high cost of prescription drugs - Professor Michael Law
Like a lot of people with severe arthritis, David Gambelin takes a prescription drug -- in his case, one called Remicaide. But these days, he's not taking it as often as he'd like to because he can't afford it. David Gambelin used to work at the shipyards outside Saint John.
But his arthritis was so bad, he had to stop working and he lost his insurance. For the last five years, he has been paying for the drug out-of-pocket. He figures he has spent nearly 50,000 dollars and now he says he's had to cut back on his dosage.
According to a study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, one in ten Canadians has trouble paying for prescription drugs and British Columbians have the hardest time, with 17 per cent of them saying they don't take their medication because they can't afford it. This is the first study in Canada that looks at how drug insurance coverage affects the use of prescription drugs.
Michael Law is one of the authors of the study. He is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health and a faculty member with the university's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research. Michael Law was in Vancouver.
The high cost of prescription drugs - ER doctor, Joel Lexchin
Yesterday, CBC Vancouver's noon-time call-in program opened up the phone-lines on this issue and a woman named Laura from Trail, B.C. called in with this story. We aired the call.
It's clear that Laura isn't the only person in Canada who is worried about the cost of drugs. But according to Joel Lexchin, there are other issues we should be worried about too ... in particular, whether everything that is being prescribed is actually necessary.
Joel Lexchin is an emergency room doctor in Toronto and a professor of Health Policy at York University. He was in our Toronto studio.
We requested an interview with Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq but she was not available.
Point of View - Kopimism
If you clicked onto Wikipedia this morning you will that it has gone black - shutting down its english language service for 24 hours to protest 2 anti-piracy bills before the US Senate,that Wikipedia and others say will threaten their very existence.
This is right in line with a conversation with had yesterday about Kopimism -- that has been officially recognized in Sweden. The free flow of information is the central tenet in this particular religion. We read two letters from Christopher Fryer in Vancouver and from Julie Anderton of London, Ontario.
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Other segments from today's show: