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Articles on Prescription drugs

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Antibiotics do not shorten or reduce the severity of colds or flu, but they could produce adverse effects that make you feel even worse. (Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Antibiotics in cold and flu season: Potentially harmful and seldom helpful

Resistant bacteria aren't the only risk posed by overprescribing antibiotics. A more immediate risk is side-effects and reactions, which a new review shows are surprisingly frequent and often severe.
As public figures and some in the media touted hydroxychloroquine, prescriptions skyrocketed. Grace Cary / Moment via Getty Images

When Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions followed despite little evidence that it worked

When news reports tout a drug, people get interested, even if the benefits are unproven. Patient hopes, requests and demands can easily turn into real prescriptions in their doctor's office.
During the federal election campaign, Liberals promised to take critical steps to implement pharmacare. Will they deliver? (Shutterstock)

Will Canada finally get pharmacare?

To implement pharmacare, the Liberals will need to negotiate with the provinces, and the mostly Conservative premiers are unlikely to make this easy. The insurance industry also has much to lose.
When people went to their GP asking for painkillers, they weren’t prescribed higher doses of codeine or stronger opioids, as some feared. from www.shutterstock.com

Here’s what happened when codeine was made prescription only. No, the sky didn’t fall in

When codeine became a prescription only drug in 2018, the number of overdoses dropped, our new research shows. But restricting sales of codeine is only one way to reduce harm from opioids.
A letter to leaders of Canada’s political parties signed by 1200 academics with expertise in health care calls for parties to commit to a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Leave the patchwork to the quilts: The case for pharmacare

The 1964 report that paved the way for Canada's medicare envisaged that after universal coverage for doctors, the next step would be prescription drugs. But that next step hasn't come.
When drug companies and drug regulators, such as Health Canada, sit down together at “pre-submission meetings” this may have a negative impact on public health. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada and Big Pharma: Too close for comfort

Drug companies have a job to do and so does Health Canada. When the relationship becomes murky, the public are at risk.
U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto hold a news conference before signing the USMCA. The deal, if passed into law, poses dangers to public health. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The new NAFTA’s assault on public health

The collective public health of Canada, the United States and Mexico will take a hit if the new NAFTA becomes law.
Research shows that six of 11 Health Canada scientific advisory committees had a majority of members with a direct or indirect financial interest. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada committees swimming in financial conflicts of interest

Health Canada must be unbiased and it must be seen to be unbiased -- so that Canadians get the best possible value out of prescription drugs.
A new review of 372 patient group submissions to the Canadian Agency for Drugs or Technology in Health – about whether new medicines should be covered by public plans – reveals a total of 1896 conflicts of interest. (Shutterstock)

How Big Pharma donations may influence public drug coverage

A new study reveals how many patient groups lobby for new drugs to be funded by public plans in Canada -- all while receiving funding from the companies manufacturing the drugs in question.
Tax breaks or exemptions for those working in pharmacy, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries could help bolster support for a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Tax breaks could soften the blow of a national pharmacare plan

Two community pharmacists suggest a way for improving the palatability of evidence-based universal pharmacare -- for those working in health insurance, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.
Patients are often overwhelmed by medications, especially when they leave the hospital. EM Karuna/shutterstock.com

How pharmacists can help solve medication errors

The medication landscape is complicated and error-riddled, with very few care providers knowing all the drugs you are taking. Here's how pharmacists could be the solution.
A national pharmacare program may one day be a reality in Canada. Myths abound about how it would work and what the consequences would be for Canadians and pharmaceutical companies. (Shutterstock)

Debunking the myths about a Canadian pharmacare program

As Canadians consider possibilities for pharmacare reform in the coming months, they should have access to the best available evidence about how it might work in our country.

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