Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousands

Abstinence-based treatment is ineffective. We need to invest heavily in harm reduction strategies

Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousandsBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Raymonde Gagné “I wasn’t born to be a drug addict,” said a brave member of the audience at our recent open caucus meeting in the Senate on the Opioid Crisis in Canada. He told us of his struggle with drug addiction over two decades. His closing words hung in…

Steer clear of the Big Money Club when crafting national pharmacare

Prescription drug policy in Canada ought to be decided in the interest of Canadians, not based on the power of industry sector lobbies

Steer clear of the Big Money Club when crafting national pharmacare“Canadians face some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world,” admitted the federal government when announcing the interim report from its Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. If Canadians hoped this report would provide details on how a national pharmacare program might be implemented and funded, they only got a taste.…

Cannabis represents once-in-a-generation opportunity

Bruce Leslie talks about why the industry has such explosive potential and why Westleaf is uniquely poised to take advantage

Cannabis represents once-in-a-generation opportunityBruce Leslie is vice-president of corporate communications for Westleaf Inc. Tell me about your background and why you joined Westleaf? Leslie: I’m a bit of a hybrid as I spent a portion of my career as a journalist and then transitioned over to corporate communications and corporate affairs, and then into business development. So over…

Fire & Flower launches online cannabis sales

Edmonton-based retailer has e-commerce licence in Saskatchewan and is poised for growth elsewhere

Fire & Flower launches online cannabis salesYou can now order in your pizza and your pot – if you live in Saskatchewan. Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. on Monday launched an e-commerce platform to sell adult-use recreational cannabis to customers in Saskatchewan, and accessory products to the rest of the country. The online ordering service is available from the Edmonton-based retailer’s…

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helps

Will likely result in reduced access to new drugs, and delay research and development

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helpsThe federal government’s pharmacare advisory council released a report last week outlining the “foundational” elements of a national plan. And Tuesday’s federal budget may include more details. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding regarding core aspects of the pharmacare debate. Given that proponents in Canada often cite government-funded pharmacare programs in the United…

Cannabis legalization missteps leave little faith for solving opioid crisis

The delays, mistakes and outright incompetence related to cannabis legalization suggest we won't be able to manage opioid use

Cannabis legalization missteps leave little faith for solving opioid crisisEver since the oft-delayed rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales in Canada on Oct. 17, there have been problems across this vast and highly regulated land. All of these problems mean the illegal cannabis market remains intact. They also suggest we won't be particularly adept at handling legitimate drug crisis in this country. The cannabis-related…

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicines

There’s no escaping the fact that discovering, developing and testing new drugs costs a lot of money

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicinesBy Bacchus Barua and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute It seems quite clear that the current Liberal administration wants the federal government to become the public insurer for prescription drugs, in part to contain drug costs. It’s a wrongheaded plan. In 2017, the government proposed changes to the way it limits drug prices in Canada.…

Senior citizens become drug mules as the result of a growing scam

Who is a customs agent more likely to search: a 70-year-old granny carrying a bag of sweets or a scruffy 25-year-old guy?

Senior citizens become drug mules as the result of a growing scamThere are three main methods con men use to trick their mark. They try to gain their sympathy, take advantage of greed, or threaten or extort. If you’re in the wrong frame of mind, your critical thinking skills might shut down. You see and hear what the con man wants you to. But if a…

The wisdom (or lack of) in prescribing opiates after tooth removal

A mother and a dentist team call for an end to routine opioid use for teens after wisdom tooth removal

The wisdom (or lack of) in prescribing opiates after tooth removalBy Amy Ma and Susan Sutherland Contributors We’re writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health-care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom teeth removal. Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It’s one of the…

Shoppers Drug Mart launches ecommerce platform for medical cannabis

Virtual team of professionals will provide counselling and support for patients

Shoppers Drug Mart launches ecommerce platform for medical cannabisCanadian pharmacy giant Shoppers Drug Mart has launched an online platform for the sale of medical cannabis. “As trusted medication experts, pharmacists have an important role to play in the safe and informed use of medical cannabis. Today's announcement is a leap forward for those looking for professional oversight and trusted support in this area,”…

Not all cannabis candies are created equal

Health Canada offers a framework for the sale of edible cannabis products before the October 2019 launch. Will we be ready?

Not all cannabis candies are created equalYou think October 2018 was complicated, wait until edible cannabis products are legalized by October 2019. It’s just a matter of time before the edible market represents the majority of the cannabis market in Canada. A study released last year suggested that 93 per cent of consumers supporting Ottawa’s legalization plans would try a cannabis-infused food…

Westleaf Cannabis closes on $20 million in financing

Company plans to open 20 to 30 retail stores under the banner Prairie Records over the next 12 to 24 months

Westleaf Cannabis closes on $20 million in financingCalgary-based Westleaf Cannabis has received strong validation of its innovative approach in the Canadian cannabis industry with the recent closing of $20 million in financing, including a $2.9-million strategic investment from Tilray Inc. Westleaf plans to open 20 to 30 retail stores over the next 12 to 24 months, subject to securing real estate, finalizing…

Canada’s free ride on U.S. drug development may end soon

A shift in U.S. drug pricing could cut pharmaceutical profits, meaning less money for research and development

Canada’s free ride on U.S. drug development may end soonBy Steven Globerman and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute In October, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump outlined a plan that, if implemented, would substantially lower the amount the U.S. government will pay drug-makers for certain pharmaceuticals covered by its Medicare plan. Though limited in scope, Trump’s changes are a clear step toward controlling…

Cannabis consumption spending continues to rise in Canada

Canadians spent $5.9 billion on cannabis products in the third quarter, most of it purchased illegally, says StatsCan

Cannabis consumption spending continues to rise in CanadaCanadian household expenditure on cannabis (for medical and non-medical use) was up 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, following a 1.8 per cent increase in the second quarter, according to Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported on Wednesday that household expenditure on cannabis has increased for six consecutive quarters, averaging a growth rate of…

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoff

Provinces and municipalities face a bevy of expenses and a web of regulations. And the tax benefits at all levels are questionable

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoffYou might wonder how legislators could lose money by legalizing and taxing an addictive substance. Behold, Canadian officials have outdone themselves with the rollout of recreational cannabis. Provinces and municipalities, many already in financial dire straits, have revealed a bevy of legalization costs. Meanwhile, tax projections suggest relatively slim pickings, given the size of the…
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