Friday, November 26, 2010

Editorial: Liberals cave to Big Pharma

Today's Times Colonist editorial:

"The last act in a nasty vendetta has finally played out. Premier Gordon Campbell's government has decided to kill B.C.'s only independent drug review agency. And not just kill it, but bury it in an unmarked grave.

The agency involved is called the Therapeutics Initiative. Based at the University of British Columbia, it evaluates new drugs that come on the market.

The Therapeutics Initiative saves taxpayers $50 million annually by finding cheaper alternatives. Largely thanks to its efforts, B.C. has the lowest drug costs in the country, despite offering some of the best coverage.

Moreover, the Therapeutics Initiative runs on a shoestring budget. The agency gets $1 million a year. That means it generates a 50 to one return on investment.

Finally, its researchers have been credited with saving 500 lives by issuing timely warnings about suspect medications..."

Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

A good editorial from the TC. In my mind, the BC Liberals should be absolutely hammered on this one but it's depressing when you listen a show like "Cutting Edge of the Ledge" and there is absolutely no mention of it.

If the NDP ever gets it's act together, reinstating the Therapeutics Initiative would be an ideal issue to run on.

I expect that it may also become an issue in the BC LIberals leadership race for those wanting to distance themselves from Gordo.

DPL said...

Adrian Dix has spoken on TV about the sell out. The Liberals sure know who their friends are. Generic drugs don't see to fit the program of this government. It's shameful but as long as that gang is in power, we can expect such things.

Anonymous said...

Ask George Abbott what he thinks - he was Health Minister for a time...

RossK said...

Kudos to that VTC editorial writer!

(Can we assume that Mr. Willcocks strives to be more like him or her every time he wakes up in the morning?)


paul said...

Not this time, though I'm happy to be part of the TC editorial collective.

RossK said...


(those collectives sure can be powerful things when done right)


Anonymous said...

Drug company used ghost writers to author work bylined by academics, documents show

According to newly released documents from GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company often paid ghostwriters to pen medical studies, editorials and even a textbook that listed physicians as the authors.

The documents—some of which date back to late 1990s—were recently unsealed in litigation over a GlaxoSmithKline product. We saw them after they were attached to a letter released this week by a nonprofit watchdog group urging the National Institutes of Health to crack down on ghostwriting in medical academia.

Anonymous said...

UK too

Government proposes to scrap need for scientific advice on drugs policy