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Why the System Is Broken

The Gazette


The current system for buying prescription drugs in Canada - a hybrid system of multiple public and private drug plans - is totally dysfunctional.
First, the diversity of drug plans means Canadians are covered for their drugs according to the province in which they live or work, not necessarily to their medical needs.

Second, Canadians with inadequate coverage, mostly self-employed or unemployed workers, are often unable to benefit from optimal treatments. More than three million Canadians admit they had not filled a prescription in the last year because they could not afford to do so.

Another reason why the system is broken is that Canadians pay way too much for their drugs. Canada is the world’s second most expensive country for "detail" prices - which equals the money the drug company gets, the wholesaler markup, the pharmacy markup, dispensing fees plus taxes - of prescription drugs. Canada also has the fastest-rising drug costs among OECD countries : more than 10 per cent per year. Countries with universal pharmacare, like France, Britain, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, pay less for their drugs, and their costs increase at a much lower rate.”

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