Canadians cut food and heating to afford prescription medication, report finds

  • Nearly a million Canadians sacrificed groceries and heating
  • The solely developed nation with no common drug plan
2000 - Canadians cut food and heating to afford prescription medication, report finds






Canada has the second-highest drug costs within the industrialized world.
Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nearly a million Canadians sacrificed food and heating final yr so as to afford prescription medication, in accordance to a brand new report.

Despite having a common well being care system, Canada stays the one developed nation on the earth with no common drug plan. It additionally has the second-highest drug costs within the industrialized world.

The report by well being researchers from 4 universities throughout the nation – estimated that 968,000 folks scaled again their spending final yr – together with 730,000 who cut again on food and one other 238,000 on heating – so as to afford prescribed remedy.

“We’ve always had this notion that people were doing this,” stated Michael Law, the report’s lead writer and affiliate professor on the University of British Columbia. “I think the scale of it was probably a bit larger than we expected.”

The research, revealed on Tuesday, additionally revealed that greater than 1.6 million Canadians both skipped doses or have been unable to fill prescriptions due to value constraints. Canada has a inhabitants of 36 million.

The downside disproportionately impacts youthful folks, low earnings residents and uninsured folks. Indigenous folks reported twice the challenges in contrast to the remainder of the inhabitants – and girls had extra problem paying for drugs than males.

Researchers anticipated medication for power sickness to be most affected by affordability. Instead, they found a broad vary of prescriptions go unfilled due to value issues – with medication used to deal with despair as the most typical.

A current federal authorities research decided nationwide drug plan would value the nation $16.2bn – $three.3bn lower than present annual spending on remedy.

Researchers warn that the massive variety of folks unable to entry prescription medication put strain on different components of Canada’s well being service.

“You squeeze the balloon at one end and it blows up a little bit on the other. Those same individuals – because their health deteriorates – are more likely to end up in health care system,” stated Law. “You’ll see more hospital or physician expenditures as a result of that – which of course the public purse pays for.”

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