Combating the over-medication of seniors

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too many prescriptions

Combating the over-medication of seniorsWorking aggressively to reduce their daily medication burden may be the single best thing we can do to improve the quality of life of our aging parents and grandparents. The issue of too much medication in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized as the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to…

USMCA will stunt potentially lifesaving innovation

The new trade agreement represents progress for international trade, but crucially, it weakens protections for the biopharma industry

USMCA will stunt potentially lifesaving innovationIn December, the United States, Mexico and Canada signed a new trade agreement (USMCA) in Mexico City. The agreement represents progress for international trade, but crucially, it weakens protections for the biopharma industry, as the final version of the deal removed provisions that would have extended the exclusivity (essentially, the period of time when brand-name…

The power of the placebo effect

A patient sometimes perceives a positive result, even from a fake drug

The power of the placebo effectMedical knowledge and treatments have advanced more quickly in the last 50 years than ever before, but the powerful effects of placebo treatments are still reported and are not fully understood. Simply put, a placebo is a medicine or medical treatment that has no active pharmacological ingredient. The term often refers to the inactive treatments…

Turning the tide on the harm of opioids

Doctors must discuss pain management options with patients and not jump to the prescription pad for a quick fix

Turning the tide on the harm of opioidsBy Dr. Wendy Levinson University of Toronto and Dr. Laurent Marcoux As clinicians, we’re bound by professionalism and our ethical responsibilities to do no harm, and to do what we can to address the pain and suffering of our patients. When powerful pain-relieving opioid medications were introduced a few decades ago, they seemed to be…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson University of Toronto Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

Medical marijuana can help end opioid crisis

A variety of studies show cannabis is a viable pain-killing alternative, and it has been successfully used to help addicts kick opioids

Medical marijuana can help end opioid crisisBy Daniel Duarte Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Over the last decade, Canada has been among the top three countries with the highest per capita opioid consumption. With 3,023 opioid-related deaths in 2016, 4,120 in 2017, and 4,588 in 2018, the problem appears to be escalating quickly despite numerous federal and provincial initiatives.…

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social roots

The answer to addiction will not be found in the industries of incarceration and prescription

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social rootsOn Oct. 21, pharmaceutical opioid distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a US$260-million settlement just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the first opioid-era federal lawsuit in Ohio. This is the first of hundreds of similar lawsuits filed by cities, counties, Native American tribes…

Pharmacare proposal raises some serious questions

Free prescription drugs won’t mean a thing if Canadians can’t access the drugs they need. There has to be a better way to manage our supply

Pharmacare proposal raises some serious questionsThe Liberal federal government made a pre-election promise to establish a single, universal pharmacare program that would cover all, or most, of the costs of prescription drugs for Canadians. The idea has been discussed for decades, but the public conversation has rarely gone beyond unproven hopes that it will save billions of dollars and that…

Canada must protect its drug supply

Canada’s drug supply is meant to provide for 37 million Canadians, not 370 million Americans. U.S. cross-border shopping could endanger Canadians

Canada must protect its drug supplyWhen U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined a caravan of diabetics for a cross-border shopping trip to buy Canadian insulin, it was a deliberate attempt to publicize his proposed policies to reform health care. He likely had no idea that the media coverage of his actions would set off alarm bells among Canadians and even…

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverage

Both countries partner with the private sector and expect patients to share the cost of treatment

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverageBy Bacchus Barua and Kristina Acri The Fraser Institute The Liberal federal government seems poised to propose a national pharmacare plan in time for the Oct. 21 federal election. Many proponents note that Canada is the only industrialized country featuring a universal health-care system that doesn’t provide universal coverage for prescription drugs. However, those same…

Canadian drugs can’t cure deadly U.S. shortages

Canada can’t even keep itself stocked with necessary medication and falls far short when it comes to research spending

Canadian drugs can’t cure deadly U.S. shortagesCrippling drug prices in the United States have brought even Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump together: they both favour drug imports from Canada to ease the pain. Vermont, Sanders’ home state, has approved this for state programs and 16 states are queuing up to follow suit. The proposal is seductive, a…

Males more likely to use cannabis than females: StatsCan

Males more likely to use cannabis than females: StatsCanFrom mid-May to mid-June, about 4.9 million or 16 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the previous three months, according to a report released on Thursday by Statistics Canada.  The federal agency said this was unchanged from what was reported one year earlier (before legalization) for the provinces and…

The high social cost of allowing human indulgences

You don’t discourage bad behaviour by making it easier and more pleasant to engage in. Except Canadians have when it comes to gambling and drug use

The high social cost of allowing human indulgencesNot long ago, governments prohibited behaviour that was bad for its citizenry, like gambling and smoking pot. But now, government seems to encourage it, to the detriment of society. In gambling, those insufficiently aware of statistical probabilities are induced to lose money to those with a deeper knowledge of the odds – a sort of…

Westleaf to supply $4M of cannabis derivative products to Delta 9

Westleaf to supply $4M of cannabis derivative products to Delta 9Westleaf Inc. announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary, Westleaf Labs LP, has entered into a white-labelling agreement with Delta 9 to supply approximately $4 million of cannabis derivative products from its large-scale extraction and manufacturing facility in Calgary. Calgary-based Westleaf said the contract will begin on Oct. 1, subject to receipt of final licence approval…

Westleaf announces same-day cannabis delivery in Saskatoon

The feature is being offered through its Prairie Records online store

Westleaf announces same-day cannabis delivery in SaskatoonCannabis users in the greater Saskatoon area can now have same-day delivery of their product, thanks to Calgary-based Westleaf Inc. The feature is being offered through its Prairie Records online store. "Adding another customer-centric feature is all part of enhancing the Prairie Records brand among our customers and making it that much easier to purchase…