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Globe editorial

Globe editorial: What happened to that catastrophic drug plan?

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

It's a scandal that cancer patients in Atlantic Canada are unable to afford simple medications to control their nausea and pain. After all the promises, why in heaven's name has no plan materialized to pay the often-catastrophic costs. ...Read the full article

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  1. Edward Vickers from Edmontonedmonton, Canada writes: It seems to me that if provincial health departments had a more focused direct purchasing system in place that would buy direct from the drug manufacturers on behalf of specifically defined patients the problem could be alleviated. If drugs were directly purchased, directly shipped, and directly paid for by a provincial drug agency the costs would be much less. An income based cost sharing could be considered but may not even be necessary. The problem with this concept is the uproar from those who profit from illness by maintaining high profits from dispensing necessary drugs. While there may be problems there should be no doubt that a more streamlined system of providing drugs is available. Maybe governments should consult street drug dealers who seem to maintain a cost effective drug distribution system that always keeps the supply constant and the price competitive. Just a thought
  2. Louis Pacella from Canada writes: Just to know that a 33 year-old mother of two is dying of ovarian cancer makes me weep and rail against fate. And to read she can't afford drugs to stop her nausea makes me rail against against mankind.
  3. D Mcguilty from Brampton, Canada writes: Canada's a great country... just don't get sick - I was on a wait list for an MRI for over 6 months.
  4. Andy Kovacs from Toronto, Canada writes: Thank you for highlighting the stories of the many Canadians who are living, and dying, of cancer. With the serious challenges facing Canada's health care system, it is no surprise that there isn't a universal plan to fully pay for the often-catastrophic costs of cancer care and recovery.

    I'm sure that you would agree that no one expects to become ill. But if you do, you shouldn't have to worry about anything more than recovering and regaining your health.

    Having the financial resources to cope with an illness can bring both peace of mind and choice.

    While provincial medical plans and private medical insurance may help pay for some of your bills, they may stop short of providing for non-medical expenses that arise during recovery.

    Critical Illness Insurance helps you address this risk while you're still healthy. You can choose the amount of coverage you want. If, in the future, you suffer from one of the 24 covered illnesses, a lump sum amount will be paid to you.

    You can use this money any way you feel necessary. You may need to pay off your mortgage or debts, adapt your home to better accommodate a physical disability, cover travel expenses or seek alternative care.

    Don't wait until it is too late to qualify, talk to your insurance planner today!
  5. Mr Fijne from Calgary, Canada writes: Here are few comments:

    1) Wipping out $26 billions of wealth overnight thanks to Flaherty's Income Trust move won't make affording drugs much easier for anyone. Deferred taxes were never evaded, they were just deferred: now they are lost for all.
    2) When it comes to health care, the same that are so rabbidly opposed to the two tier system are in the same breath voting through the Globe poll to have government help on drugs tied with income! How about that if not a two tiered system? What's next? Should the price of a steak be tied to income too? Water? Bread? This is called communism and guys, millions paid with their lives to demonstrate it does not work, unless Cuba and North Korea are your dream lands...
    3) As for those who believe the government should take over everything because they would make it more efficient... yes, just writing it sounds weird so imagine living with it!
    4) As a Canadian who created wealth for my country, not only would I be denied the choice to use my after tax dollars to provide my family with the care I wish, but I would have to pay even more to cater to every smoker's cancer treatment in the country in the name of Tommy Douglas! This is beyond solidarity, this is extortion.
    5) People know better what fits them, not the government. However the governement can set a climate where people keep more money so they can tender to their needs independently. Sadly what we could have expected from a conservative government ended up to be more control and socialism!
  6. Rhonda Morey from Canada writes: After doing this interview and now receiving the response that I have, I am glad that I did it. If I can make a difference to the next generation of patients than it will have been worth it. In this battle I have learn to face the reality of the disease but I have not let the disease get me.. My family and I find the normal in our lives and live it. it's the national secret, if you don't learn it early on than the disease has a chance to win. Live in the day, and the sickness although still there doesn't control your life. I know I will die and my children know that mommy one day will be an angel. although sad, I have not lied to them and left them to be angry with mom. I want to thank everyone for their support. KNowing that you have have a country of people who cares, and special friends into it is important.
  7. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: Canada must resuce these cancer patients right now. If the Maritime provinces are incapable of rescuing these patients today, we need MPs to stand up in our House of Commons today and get these Canadians the help that they need. This is not a country where we let people die for want of drugs. This is not the time for posturing and studies - we need action today. Any fool knows that the Maritimes are wasting heath care dollars to too much unnecessary surgery while ignoring basic enviromental concerns. If they can't operate competently, Ottawa must step in. Please - the clock is ticking for these people. It cannot wait!

    Canadians should have a back-up plan - a mass demonstration and email campaign - how about Friday afternoon - at hospitals - contacting the media and emailing the federal health minister and provincial ministers. We could do this!
  8. Firozali A. Mulla from Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania writes: What happened to that catastrophic drug plan?
    From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
    While governments fiddle, cancer patients in Atlantic Canada are unable to afford simple medications to control their nausea and pain. The stories of financial hardship and anguish told in these pages yesterday by The Globe's Lisa Priest are a scandal. After all the promises of a catastrophic drug plan, why in heaven's name has no plan materialized?
    The answer, sad if unsurprising, is that the promises of a prime minister (two, actually: Jean Chr├ętien and Paul Martin) and the premiers were empty. Mr. Martin promised a 'fix for a generation,' but 'wait for a generation' seems closer to the truth.
    Sir. You are spoiling our fun of posting the comments. You state promise broken, sad if unsurprisingly. When have the politicians sat down to look at the medicines of today and refreshed their brain that ASPIRIN is to be given only in 25mg (Please refer to your doctor before you use this). If the patient has problem with viscosity of blood. (Speeds or thins the blood and the veins do not take hammering).
    A lay man would know but petty the lay man cannot tell the politician except suffer in silence or die.
    The politicians handle the wars is terrific, I mean horrible. Look at the Iraq war Afghanistan war.
    All these add up to the negligence of proper care by the politicians. Paper can only publish these remarks but do the politicians read the papers. I doubt this I swear that they have their famous channel to refresh their headache if any from the parliamentary meetings that too if any rather then to look at the paper to see what the public want. Medication may be free but then there will choice of where to import and who pays. Alberta or Quebec???
  9. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: Mr. Gill obviously needs someone to write letters for him and obtain some drug company donations of medicines. An alternative may be to check out the other provinces and move, a very difficult thing to do when ill. He should call his MP and ask his local hospital for help. Finally, getting admitted to hospital, for the duration fo the illness, may make the most sense. Many people with apparent stomach pains get admitted to hospitals. Why not Mr. Gill?
  10. Jim Cruickshank from Farmington Hills, MI, Canada writes: According to Mr. Fijne #9, Canada's health-care problems can be traced to... Mr. Flaherty's income trust decision?? Has October 31, 2006 joined December 7, 1941 as 'days that will live in infamy'? Seriously, I give you credit for self-absorption. Anyone who can read this articles while still thinking about their income trusts is clearly stoic.

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