Canadian Health Coalition

Big Pharma

The Issue:

Canadian governments, employers, unions, and patients currently spend more money on prescription drugs (about $21 billion in 2007) than is spent on all services provided by doctors in Canada. There were over 420 Million drug prescriptions filled in Canadian pharmacies in 2007, an amount equal to 12.6 prescriptions per capita. And a lot of this spending is on expensive (and often dangerous) new drugs which offer no better theraputic effect than their traditional (and cheaper) counterparts. Our homes are bombarded with TV Ads for these expensive new drugs (which is against Canadian law) further driving up drug spending. Canadians need a public, safe and appropriate drug plan they can depend on.

Canadians need Pharmacare, a national publicly funded and administered insurance plan that would cover drug costs the same way Medicare covers hospital and doctor costs, providing universal access to safe and appropriate care. And a Pharmacare plan has many advantages. It would provide equal access to prescription drugs for all Canadians, replacing our uneven and unfair patchwork of provincial programs and private insurance at work. It would also control costs by allowing providers to negotiate good prices and reducing administrative costs. And it would save lives by providing life-saving medically necessary drugs to those who currently cannot afford them.

(Big Pharma in the News) TVO, March 20, 2012

Part #1

Part #2


United States Private-Sector Physicians and Pharmaceutical Contract Research: A Qualitative Study, PLOS Medicine, July 2012

Parliament needs to address Canada’s prescription drug problem, Canadian Health Coalition, September 2011

Campaign for a National Drug Plan, Canadian Health Coalition 2010

Health Protection and Drug Safety Archive

Big Pharma’s Seven Deadly Sins, Canadian Health Coalition 2010

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs (DTCA)

Deadly Medicine, Vanity Fair, January 2011

Vanessa’s Story

Vanessa’s Story as told by her father (AUDIO), Terence Young, MP, at the Canadian Health Coalition
National Roundtable on Health Protection, Ottawa, January 2004

Death by Prescription, 2010, New Book by Terence Young, MP

Ill-Health Canada  Putting Food and Drug Company Profits Ahead of Safety, 2005 (Order your copy today!)

VIOXX and Drug Safety Meltdown  U.S. Senate Testimony of David J. Graham, November 2004

Patent nonsense: Evidence tells of an industry out of social control  CMAJ, August 2006

Ghost Management:How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenesby the Pharmaceutical Industry?   PLoS, September 2007

Health Canada wins 4th Annual “Code of Silence Award”  May 2004

Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine British Medical Journal Book Review  September 2004



New Drugs and Safety: What Happened to New Active Substances Approved in Canada Between 1995 and 2010?  Archives of Internal Medicine, October 2012

Pfizer Settles U.S. Charges of Bribing Doctors Abroad  New York Times, August 7, 2012

Glaxo to Pay $750 Million for Sale of Bad Products  New York Times, October 26, 2010

The sickening of society, Canwest News, April 2010

Meltdowns or mental illness?, Canwest News, April 2010

I’m disordered, you’re disordered, Ottawa Citizen, May 2010

Québec’s 2-Tiered system a massive subsidy to Big Pharma  Montreal Gazette, August 2008

Tranquillisers putting children’s lives at risk  UK Guardian , April 2008

Big Profits from Drugging Seniors  Common Ground, April 2008

Drug recalls linked to U.S. testing deadlines  Globe and Mail, March 2008

End drug sponsorship of doctors’ seminars, medical journal says  Ottawa Citizen, March 2008

Lavish perks from drug companies compromise doctors’ ethics  Globe and Mail, March 2008

Book Reviews: The Truth About Drug Companies, Globe and Mail and New York Times, 2004

Pill Pushers: How the drug industry abandoned science for salesmanship  Forbes Magazine, May 2006

Direct-To-Consumer Advertising

Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising

Twelve Years’ Experience with Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs in Canada: A Cautionary Tale, PLoS One (2009)

DTCA Archive, Canadian Health Coalition (old website)

Legal Documents – CanWest Mediaworks Charter Challenge, Canadian Health Coalition (old website)

CanWest Challenge on prescription drug advertising: A Citizens’ Guide, Women’s Health Contribution Program

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs: Not in the Best Interests of Women’s Health, Women and Health Protection

Submission to the Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Consultation Workshop, Working Group on Women and Health Protection