Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Drug Adverse event database

Why is it that our federal government database of reported adverse events for drugs is not kept current?

I just did a search here and the Data is only showing for 2007. If a drug is promoted heavily to Canadian physicians , its usage can soar quickly. Just look at the Vioxx case... Now if physicians and patients had timely access to this , would that not be a good thing?

You can access the database below. Check the drugs you currently are taking, compare the number of events from one drug to another.

Health Canada Drug Adverse event database

Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

Dr. Ouellet lets hope something comes of this.

CMA Calls for Attitude Shift to Transform Health Care System

TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
President Dr. Robert Ouellet is urging Canadians to set aside old attitudes
and instead seek transformative change within the health care system.
"Making our health care system both sustainable and accessible for
patients requires that we make fundamental changes in how we think about
health care," said Dr. Ouellet in a speech to the Economic Club of Toronto
today. "We have tried to throw money at the problem, but money is not the only
In recent months, Dr. Ouellet and a team of CMA researchers have visited
several European nations to meet with doctors, nurses, patient associations,
researchers, government and other officials to see what has worked within
their health care systems, and why it has worked.
Preliminary findings and discussions show that these countries -- the
United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Denmark -- face many of
the same issues that Canada does: aging populations, difficulty providing
timely access to quality care, and increasing demand for services.
Dr. Ouellet cited several key points that the CMA will be bringing to
Canadians for discussion, including:

- the fact that European states use the private sector within their
health care systems yet strictly adhere to the principle that no
citizen will go without health care because of an inability to pay;
- the fact that in the European systems studied there is no difference
for patients between public and private systems because the interchange
between the two is transparent, with patient need -- not ideology or
cash -- determining how and where care is provided;
- the fact that Europeans face short, or no, wait times, yet spend less
money on health care than Canada;
- the fact that, for these countries, there is a real solidarity against
suffering and a commitment to ensure not only equal but also timely
access to health care for everyone;
- The fact that options such as funding hospitals based on activity
rather than just block funding can dramatically improve efficiency
within our system.

"In Canada we focus on turning the funding tap on or off depending on our
economic situation instead of on improving efficiency and boosting
productivity within the system," added Dr. Ouellet. "Something has to suffer
in this scenario, and all too often it is the patient."
In the coming weeks the CMA will begin a consultation with Canadians that
will include doctors, other health care professionals, patients, governments
and policymakers. The Association will use this input to formulate a plan -- a
"Made in Canada" solution -- to make transformative change in the health care
system possible.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Interesting week at Pharmacanada

There were a couple of really interesting reports this week that I'll share with you. One is the The Health Council of Canada Report entitled The National Pharmaceuticals Strategy: A Prescription Unfilled

This followed by Dr. Neil MacKinnons article in CMAJ on the above. The National Pharmaceuticals Strategy: Rest in peace,
revive or renew?

You certainly get a sense of the frustration of trying to get all sides working together.

Then there was the report from the University of Calgary (Department of Economics and Institute for advanced Policy Research) entitled " Generic Drug Pricing and
Procurement: A Policy for Alberta"

Aidan Hollis

This is a terrific explanation of the situation across this country . Each province doing their own thing. When will we learn?