Cornwall ON – The Real War on drugs takes place each and every day.
It’s not cocaine; it’s not Mary Jane as one of our radio guests call it.
It’s pharmaceuticals and the pressures from big drug companies on Medicare.
Recently Ontario slashed the prices pharmacies are allowed to charge for generic drugs and cut off kick backs from drug companies.
The led to howls of protest from pharmacies predicting an end to services from free delivery to the very basics of services and suggestions of closings.
Essentially what that means is that we in Ontario, and the other provinces follow Ontario, have all been paying billions of tax dollars for nothing. Excess to big corporations for no reason other than they have the ear of our governments.
A recent ARTICLE in The National Post discusses points made in a Fraser Institute report.
The ODB should reimburse consumers directly and require consumers to pay a portion of the cost of their prescription drugs (25% for example). ODB recipients would become sensitive to price and they would be motivated to shop around, creating incentives for pharmacy retailers to compete on prices.
Now there lies the slipperiest of slopes. I can tell you this thesis does nothing, but help big pharma again. We have a medical system that more and more relies on the prescription pad instead of treatment.
I’ll use another example, because this drug policy is the tip of the iceberg, and these practices go on in about every area of medicine. I have Sleep Apnea and require the use of a CPAP machine. Here in Ontario, in Cornwall in fact, if you go to the four providers they all have the same price point because it’s legislated by Ontario. (The fact there are four providers in a city of less than 50,000 people says something to the financial rewards alone)
We are required to pay 25%, but what they don’t tell you is that without any favours you can buy the EXACT same machine retail in the US for about half the price.
The taxpayer thus is being robbed and of course we the users get robbed again by having to pay the 25% fee. If we purchase the equipment in the US; IE not from an approved source, we don’t get our 75% paid for.
This is short of organized crime; except it’s being done systematically to all of us in Ontario, and in Canada. It’s not a partisan issue too as all governments seem to be allowing it for one reason or another.
I agree with the Fraser Institute about market pressures. We as the people of Ontario or Canada buy an awful lot of products and services. We should be getting the best deals out there, not the worst, and not padding big pharma.
Our Medicare system doesn’t need more money. It needs to radically reform how it spends our money.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News
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