One thought on “The truth about profit mixing with medical care – a nice article by NY Times Charles Duhigg

  1. In my home province of Manitoba an Epipen requires a doctor’s prescription and costs about $100. It is not covered by the prescription drug plan and so is not covered by any private insurance supplement or as part of any plan for the poor. So a lot of people here complain about having to pay $100 for their epipen. To be fair, it is possible on private health insurance to use a “health savings account” if your plan has one to pay for it. Canada has a single user system. We buy generics from places like India and if costs warrant, we simply set up our own generics. Canada, for example simply ignores patents on genetic testing kits. If big pharma makes a threat like “We will sue you!” the Government of Canada just yawns and says “Go ahead. We have lawyers on salary and all the time and money in the world.” So big pharma generally gives in and ignore us. We are a market smaller than California so we are just not worth the trouble. We did have a wonderful industry going for a while whereby Americans could buy their drugs from us at our costs and I know several people who were employed in that industry. But you government blocked that after a few years with your FDA claiming our Canadian drugs (which were often manufactured in the USA and sent to Canada for sale up here) were not as good as American drugs. Basically the main issue is your government is in bed with some members of the health care industry. Government regulations ensure there is no real competition and antitrust/government corruption is rampant. Our system is not perfect. My daughter-in-law waited over 48 hours bouncing between two ERs to have severe pain in her lower right quadrant assessed and treated. If she had had something like an ectopic pregnancy she would just be dead now. My grandmother waited two years for cataract surgery. It is certainly better overall than your system on a day to day basis. However your system encourages innovation and advances in health care that our system would never permit. I wrote about in my blog. https://fulltimetumbleweed.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/adventures-in-wonderland-a-canadian-navigating-the-american-medical-system-part-1/

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