HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 4(3) April 2004 : 68-72.doi:10.12927/hcpap..16879
Final Response

The Authors Respond

Steven G. Morgan and Donald J. Willison

Abstract

"The problems encountered in attempting to provide prescribed drugs on an insurance basis have been difficult to resolve in Canada. Excessive patient demand, excessive prescribing, too many repeat prescriptions, the lack of historic plateau or benchmark of use or average prescription price - these are some of the difficulties cited to demonstrate that prepayment for pharmaceuticals is impractical."

This quote comes from one of Canada's national commissions on healthcare - not from the 2002 Romanow Commission but from the 1964 Royal Commission on Health Services (Canada 1964). In the 1960s Justice Emmett Hall deemed it imprudent for government to take on an expenditure program as large and untamed as prescription drug coverage. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

 

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