January 16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Make lifesaving medications available for all Canadians, say doctors
Toronto – Too many Canadians can’t afford to fill their prescriptions, and it’s time that our governments started providing cost-effective, lifesaving prescriptions for all who need them, according to Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
A new study released today in CMAJ – Canada’s leading peer-reviewed medical journal – demonstrates that one in 10 Canadians have trouble affording their prescription medications. For Canadians without prescription drug insurance, one in four cannot afford their medications.
“It is time Canada treated prescription drugs like the lifesaving interventions they are,” said Dr. Danielle Martin, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “We should start to include prescription drugs in the Canada Health Act.”
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that providing free medications to heart attack patients resulted in more people taking their medications as prescribed and fewer complications. Despite providing medications for free, the costs to the insurer did not increase because patients who regularly took their medications were hospitalized less often.
“The evidence shows that providing prescription drugs for free in many situations is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense,” said Martin.
Read the CMAJ study: http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.111270
Read the NEJM study: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1107913
For more information:
Alissa Von Bargen, Project Manager