health care costs

Ontario must rethink alcohol sales

Over the past five years, provincial legislative changes have made alcohol more accessible in Ontario. The structure of alcohol distribution has now become increasingly permissive due to the loosening of historical controls on a harmful substance. The trajectory of alcohol policy continues to become increasingly adverse to the health and well-being of Ontarians.  Consider the

Medical students choose wisely

As summer students working with Choosing Wisely Canada, we were part of a national, physician-led campaign to reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. The campaign has developed recommendations regarding commonly used tests, treatments or procedures that are not supported by evidence, and/or could expose patients to unnecessary harm. We feel strongly about the importance of

We need a national strategy to support unpaid caregivers

The phenomenon is not exactly marginal: according to a recently released government report, one in every three workers in Canada is assisting a chronically disabled person — many of them seniors — with transportation, household maintenance or day-to-day tasks. The 6.1 million employed workers who are providing such care, free of charge, to a family member or friend

Telemedicine on the rise across Canada

It’s still far from routine, but telemedicine is quietly growing across Canada. Last year, a pilot project with a portable robot was launched in Saskatchewan. And telemedicine programs in Ontario have been growing by around 30% per year for the last several years, according to David Jensen, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. Telemedicine can

Is Canada paying too much for generic biological drugs?

Morgan and Renwick

In an earlier article, we discussed the importance of post-patent competition in generating social value from the pharmaceutical market. Generic competition gives people access to less expensive drugs and allows society to recapture value from patent holders. This topic is currently relevant because numerous major biopharmaceutical patents, including Remicade, Humira, and Lucentis, are set to

Generic drugs: Canada needs more competition

Morgan and Renwick

Pharmaceutical innovations are the ultimate public good. They are ideas that make it possible for society to address otherwise unmet health care needs. As ideas, however, they are also hard to find and easy to copy. As such, fostering valued, pharmaceutical innovation is a policy paradox. In a truly “free market,” no firm would have

Ontario’s private outpatient lab sector needs overhaul, say critics

Community labs

Ontario’s system for funding private medical laboratories has been controversial since it was set up almost two decades ago. Now, facing critics who have only gotten louder, the government may be considering reform. In her mandate letter after last year’s election, Premier Kathleen Wynne asked Health Minister Eric Hoskins to “explore opportunities to optimize quality