Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 



Hard Pill to Swallow

The real cost of limited pharmacare and the high cost of medications

M Mcdonald, Author/Voice file pic


Myrtle Macdonald (r), former nurse and local community activist and commentator has been a long-time contributor to The Voice. You can purchase her book at the link below.


anufacturers are in the the business of making medications to enrich themselves and their share owners. 


The federal, provincial and municipal governments should investigate at arms length and take control. Generic drug manufacturers may be paying the drug companies more money than necessary. Some may even be splitting the profits with the private corporations. That is corrupt.


2.  The federal government are known to silence or get rid of whistle-blowers. Please provide more arms length well qualified staff. Adequate professional staffing will correct this corruption.


3.  There are far too many pharmacies, which increases overhead because of reduplicated services, buildings and taxes.  It is astonishing how many new drug stores have been opened in Chilliwack in the past two years. There are six or more new pharmacies, which doubles what we had three years ago in a town of 70,000 population. The pharmacies were not too busy when there were only six. Who can stop this proliferation??  Some should lose their licenses.


4.  Good pharmacists are very knowledgeable about medications and very supportive of patients. Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs and Wal-Mart  are very impersonal. You cannot get to know the pharmacists and they remain strangers in an outlet popularized by hundreds of people buying food, cosmetics, stationary, electronics, a post office and cleaning supplies, etc. 


5.  Is it ethical and safe for the patient and for the industries to have pharmacies in grocery stores?  Is it economical for the patient? Staffing them properly is more expensive than grocery stores are willing to do.


6.  How regularly do Canada's Food and Drug Inspectors monitor all medications available by prescription in the province? Are some bought directly from China, USA, Europe and central American countries?


7.  Should not all provinces have similar Pharmacare and MSP?  For all to have widely differing sources and benefits adds to cost and confusion.


8.  There are many levels of the hierarchy of supervision and administration, most of which have little or no knowledge of the manufacture, scientific quality assurance, sale techniques and criteria for diagnosis and prescription. If they were skilled in these areas at one time, they have become out of date and unfamiliar with new medications. Please governments and drug companies:  cut down drastically on this waste of money on high salaries, and use the money saved to appoint in every pharmacy, at least one pharmacist with an M.Sc. or doctors degree.


9.  It is a waste of Pharmacists' skill to have so many pharmacies in one small city. Better to add them to understaffed drug stores and send them back for refresher courses and higher degrees in their profession.


10.  Insist on Federal and Provincial drug inspection services to be very well staffed with highly qualified Pharmacists. See point 2.



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