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Author Topic: Fraser Institute: Generic drug policy costs Canada hundreds of mil
No Yards
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posted 24 August 2004 02:11 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now why is it that I have a hard time believing a word of any of this from either side?

quote:
Canadians are paying hundreds of millions of dollars too much for generic prescription drugs because federal government policies are allowing manufacturers to shut out competitors, a study released Monday concludes

Anyone have any idea what the actual truth might be?


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Kinetix
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posted 24 August 2004 03:56 PM      Profile for Kinetix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Considering that our drug prices are already held astronomically lower than in the united states, I'm not sure where they're pulling this $100M figure from, because it seems as we're saving millions, not spending them.
From: Montréal, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 24 August 2004 04:06 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When it comes to an argument between the Fraser Institute and the Multi-National drug companies I'm all for easing up on the laws concerning concealed handguns!

I'm sure there is some kind of catch to all this designed to distact us from a third and much more people friendly option!


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 24 August 2004 04:37 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Anyone have any idea what the actual truth might be?

My experience tells me that the truth lives on the opposite side of the spectrum from Fraser Institute pronouncements. That is a good basis to start from on this story, I'd suspect.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 24 August 2004 11:48 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, you know, the Fraser Institute could be telling the truth for a change but you just have to assume their research is one-sided, tainted and acquired only to support a pre-determined outcome.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 25 August 2004 12:08 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Article from RightWing Vancouver Make-believe "think tank" says: "While patented drugs are less expensive in Canada than they are in the United States as everyone knows, generic drug prices were consistently found to be higher," report author Brett Skinner, a research manager at the institute, said in an interview.

BullSh!t. Then why have insurance companies opted to provide generic drugs to their customers over patented drugs in Canada ?. My mother was switched to two different off-labels as soon as patents ran out on Zocor and one other long time best seller.

Big pharma is awash in cash, and they've got right wing tanks like those guys in their laps.
Big pharma has hundreds of lobbyists in Washington and Ottawa since lyin Brian's days. For all their corporate enormity and largesse, big [pharma has not produced anything as life saving as Banting's(Canadian)insulin or Salk/Sabin's polio vaccine, both discovered on shoe-string budgets. They rip off taxpayer funded research and market it as their own. Taxol(best selling cancer drug in history) and AZT are examples.

Does Fraser ever tell who's been funding them ?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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posted 25 August 2004 07:11 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"While patented drugs are less expensive in Canada than they are in the United States as everyone knows, generic drug prices were consistently found to be higher," report author Brett Skinner, a research manager at the institute, said in an interview.

quote:
BullSh!t. Then why have insurance companies opted to provide generic drugs to their customers over patented drugs in Canada ?. My mother was switched to two different off-labels as soon as patents ran out on Zocor and one other long time best seller

The first quote does not say generic drugs are more expensive than patented drugs. It says that, while patented drugs are cheaper in Canada than in the US, the reverse is true for generic drugs. That is, Canadians pay more for generic drugs than Americans do. [By the way, I find that difficult to believe as well.]

[ 25 August 2004: Message edited by: abnormal ]


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 25 August 2004 02:29 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I saw a similar piece in the Sun, but their electronic side is subscription only.
However, it mentioned a highly amusing piece of reasoning. The Fraser boys were quoted as saying that the prices are too high partly because of Canadian policies that make doctors prescribe the cheapest drug for a given condition unless there's clear differences in effect.
So. Policies of buying cheap drive prices up. Remember that next time someone insists that government ought to be getting multiple bids on contracts and, all else equal, taking the cheapest. Tell them the Fraser Institute says that kind of dangerous nonsense drives prices up.

To be fair, which I don't really feel like being, I think they meant that since generic drugs are cheaper than name-brand, they were more likely to be prescribed in Canada, weren't clinging desperately to a niche like in the States, and so could charge somewhat higher prices. To put it a different way, increased market/level playing field for generics allows them to increase prices. Of course, that still leaves them way cheaper than name-brand patented stuff so when it comes to public policy it's a silly argument. And it can only happen if there's no real competition *between* generic brands.

The one thing in the report that's probably true is that the generic drug industry in Canada, like most industries, is too concentrated. The policy recommendations that the Fraser Institute seem to want to infer from that are something along the lines of "so buy expensive name-brand drugs instead", which is lunacy.
More reasonable policy recommendations would be: Get some tough anti-trust laws and bust 'em up so there's competition; also bust up the media and various other overconcentrated outfits. Or, create a crown to compete with them. Or both. Somehow I don't think the Fraser boys would be happy about those recommendations.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 25 August 2004 02:53 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, I see, so in other words, Canadian rules make for more competetion in the drug market so prices are more in line with how "supply and demand" would suggest, rather than having the monopolies gouging their insured customers on one end, and niche players eeking out a living trying to supply drugs to people that can't afford to buy real milk for their children.

And as usual, the F.I. is making distracting noises trying to trick us into changing the rules to satisfy the drug industry by pointing out an insignificant flaw and asking us to apply a "fix" that would turn the whole system into a total disaster.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Kinetix
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posted 25 August 2004 03:17 PM      Profile for Kinetix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They also fail to differentiate between prescription generics and OTC generics.

If I buy a blister pack of acetaminophen in Nevada with no sales tax, you're damn straight it's going to be less expensive than in Ontario where I pay GST and PST.

That's not evidence of failure of generic protectionism, that's tax policy.


From: Montréal, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Maggot
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posted 27 August 2004 04:19 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Have no idea if the Fraser boobs are right or not, re: generics priced higher in Canada than U.S. (Could be, since, unlike patented drugs, the generics are not subject to price controls here.)

Last I heard, while Canadians paid about the same price for patented drugs as most European countries, we had to fork our about 24 - 40% more for our unregulated generics than they did.


From: BC | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged

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