Archive for August, 2012

Lessons from Mexican health care reform in the United States?

Posted by on August 24th, 2012

The Supreme Court decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act has not settled the question of health care reform in the United States by a long shot. Health care and prescription drug issues will dominate the debate in the country leading up to the fall election for Congress and President.

Writing in The Lancet, a leading medical public policy journal, a group of public health experts highlight the progress that Mexico has made towards achieving comprehensive health coverage, as well discussing some of the healthcare challenges that remain for the country, which has a population of more than 100 million.

Mexico, like Canada, did in the early 60’s, has moved towards an ambitious government-funded scheme which aimed to ensure that even the poorest Mexican citizens have access to an adequate standard of health care – from treatment for the most pressing chronic and catastrophic illnesses, to preventative healthcare that tries to lower medical system costs by dealing with chronic health issues like diabetes early, as well as expanding vaccination programs.

This change in Mexico began in only 2003, until than adequate medical insurance was only available to Mexican citizens who could access social security schemes through their employment, or via expensive private insurance.  Those people who were not in regular salaried employment and could not afford private health insurance were unable to access adequate health care, unless they were able to meet significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Since the program began in 2004, over 50 million Mexicans have now been covered for health care under the new plan.

The study acknowledges problems with the new program. Rural health care is still poor, and doctors are being lured away due to low payments under the public system.

The question that faces the U.S electorate this election is question that Canada faced in 60’s and Mexico a decade ago and that is, is the expanded coverage under a government-funded program something the people can support, considering the higher public expenditures it means?

What are your opinions on U.S healthcare reform? Do you want to see a move towards universal coverage, or prefer less government involvement in your healthcare? Comment here on our CanadaDrugs.com blog, or on our Facebook page.


Tell The White House To Allow You To Keep Ordering Affordable Medication

Posted by on August 17th, 2012

The FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) was signed into law on July 9th, 2012. The bill was long, like most major pieces of legislation, and it covered a variety of drug and regulatory issues under one document. Hidden in the bills massive 140 pages, amongst changes to licensing of medical devices, changes in fee structures for generic medication, patent exclusivity guidelines, etc, was language that that poses an immediate danger to the millions of Americans that depend on safely importing cheaper medication to maintain their health.

The language of section 708 of FDSIA will effectively end Americans’ ability to import prescription medication from Canada and other first-world nations. The affordable alternative that safe, licensed online pharmacies like CanadaDrugs.com have offered for over a decade will be outlawed and patients that have come to depend on cheaper mail-order products will be left with no way to afford their prescription drug bill.

The provision that raises alarms for anyone who has ever ordered from a Canadian online pharmacy is in section 708. This section contains language that gives government agencies the right to seize and destroy prescription drugs imported for personal use. Currently there is the ability to import up to a 90-day supply of prescription medication for personal use. Millions of Americans’ take advantage of lower international drug prices to order their life saving medication from Canada and have done so for over 10 years.

RxRights.org, a national coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to raising awareness and spurring action around safe prescription drug importation is fighting back against the language in FDASIA. Using the “We the People” petition site that the Obama Administration created to give citizens a tool to voice their opinion on government policy decisions, RxRights has created a petition for Americans that have safely used Canadian pharmacies to voice their opposition to the threat the FDASIA poses. A threshold of 25,000 signatures is needed for the White House to respond.

The petition states:

We petition the Obama administration to: Continue to allow Americans to import, life-sustaining prescription drugs from safe international online pharmacies.

We urge the administration to delay rule-making regarding Section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, which gives government agencies the authority to seize and destroy safe, imported medications valued at $2500 or less. Such low value shipments are clearly personal prescription drug orders. Over the past decade, millions of Americans have safely imported prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada and other countries because U.S. drug prices are unaffordable. This law will lead to higher healthcare costs, sickness, and even death.

Seniors and countless Americans who can’t afford the high price of U.S. medicine will be unjustly targeted and physically harmed by this regulation. Don’t implement this regulation until there is a solution to assist these needy Americans.

CanadaDrugs.com urges you to sign the petition and pass the word to your friends and family in order to allow us and other safe, licensed online Canadian pharmacies to continue to offer a more affordable option for your prescription drugs.

Visit and sign the White House petition.


The 5-Second Rule! Fact or Fiction or Just Gross?

Posted by on August 10th, 2012

Admit it. We are guilty of using the five-second rule. Accidentally drop a half eaten doughnut on the floor of your office during a coffee-break? Five-second rule. At a summer barbeque and your awesome hotdog rolls off your plate and onto the ground. Five-second rule. Strawberry rolls off your kitchen counter while your prepping breakfast. Yep, you use the five-second rule and plop that berry right back into your smoothie maker.

Folk wisdom says that counting to five and picking a dropped food item off the ground means it’s still probably good to eat, but Dr. Jorge Parada the medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System has conducted a lot of research on food contamination and is trying to change folk wisdom. His advice is to stop using the five-second rule and adopt a new aphorism “When in doubt, throw it out.”

His research shows that as soon as food hits the ground, it is contaminated with bacteria and other microbes and simply picking it up and brushing off visible particles is no guarantee of safety. Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria bacteria, staphyloccus, clostridium botulinum, clostridium perfringens, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, rotavirus, enterovirus, trichinosis, and blastocystis are just a few of the microbes that Parada’s studies on food contamination have revealed lurk in even the cleanest of homes.

His common sense advice to avoid getting sick is to err on the side of caution and if you have any doubt about the surface that it fell onto, it’s best to just avoid eating it.

But even with this research confirming that food can be contaminated the instant it hits the ground, the odds of throwing out that doughnut are pretty slim if it still looks okay after picking it back up form under your desk…

Even here at Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy we’ve been known to count 5…4…3…and eat that dropped doughnut.


Big Pharma’s Deals on Generics Could be Frustrated

Posted by on August 2nd, 2012

A landmark court ruling was handed down by a federal appeals court this week on the “Pay-for-Delay” deals that Big Pharma strikes with generic drug manufactures to keep low-cost generic drugs off the market.

The New York Times reports that the ruling, from a federal appeals court in Philadelphia, cited the arrangements as anticompetitive and that “the stakes are enormous for brand-name drug makers, which would face lower profits.”

Pay-for-delay refers to deals in which a drug manufacturer with a name-brand product funnels a share of its profits to another drug maker in return for its promise not to produce a generic equivalent.

The agreements come about when a generic-drug maker develops a generic equivalent to a brand name drug that is under patent and applies to the Food and Drug Administration to sell it, arguing that the patent is invalid. Big Pharma companies in this case, instead of trying to uphold their patent will settle with the generic company with a deal that pays them to delay their generic.

Although these schemes are a win-win for both companies—as the name-brand maker continues to enjoy its monopoly while the generic company gets paid to do nothing—Americans lose out on access to cheaper generic drugs. It is estimated that “pay for delay” costs American consumer over $3.5 billion a year.

The availability of international generic drugs sooner is one of the reasons American consumers look to an online Canadian Pharmacy. While a “pay for delay” deal may hold up more affordable options to Americans, the generic version will often be available in Canada, Europe and other international jurisdictions years earlier.

Big Pharma and the large generic manufactures that benefit from pay for delay will appeal the federal court ruling, and past congressional efforts to ban the practice have been thwarted by lobbying efforts from the large drug companies.