Single-Payer Drug Coverage

This is from the Fraser Institute:

  • Of the 33 new oncology drugs included in Rawson’s study, 30 were approved in the United States and 26 were approved in the European Community, but only 24 were permitted in Canada between 2003 and 2011.
  • The median review times of these drugs were 182 days in the United States, 410 days in Europe and 356 days in Canada.
  • In the United States, 25 of the 30 approved drugs (83 percent) received an expedited review (median and average approval times of 182 and 217 days, respectively).
  • Meanwhile, in Canada, only eight of the 24 drugs (33 percent) received a priority review (median and average approval times of 326 and 422 days, respectively).

Furthermore, in addition to delayed access, Canada’s health care system failed to provide assistance in receiving the oncology drugs crucial to check the high fatality rate from cancer.

  • By the end of March 2012, only three of the 24 drugs approved in Canada were covered to some degree by government insurance in all 10 provinces.
  • Meanwhile, seven others had government subsidized access in some provinces.
  • Crucially, almost 60 percent had no government subsidized access in any province.

Comments (10)

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  1. Madeline says:

    The moral of this story: don’t get sick in Canada.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    This is an example of rationing; slow drug approval and little assistance to patients once approved. I suspect the only assistance patients get in many instances is that the price drug makers are allowed to charge for the drugs is highly controlled. In this regard, much of the world free-rides on American drug research & development.

  3. Chuck says:

    And this is a similar system we are moving towards?

  4. Kyle says:

    Don’t canadians come to the U.S. for complicated procedures? Why is the U.S. expediting the review process for those drugs?

  5. Mandy says:

    According to this AARP study less than 2% of canadians come to the U.S. for care (either elective care or emergency care.)

    Both studies seem to make sense and, to some degree, seem to make valid points. I’m kind of confused as to what the reality is though..

  6. Darrell says:

    I’ve heard some Canadians complain about this. It’s tragic, really, knowing that some of those drugs, had they been approved, could have saved someone’s life.

  7. Linda Gorman says:

    If 2% of Canadians are coming to the US for care that’s a pretty high number. Estimates suggest that only about 5% of the populations in industrialized countries need sophisticated care at any given time.

  8. Jonathan says:

    This single-payer plan is causing struggles in a nation with about 1/10 the U.S. population. What does this tell us?…Anyone?…Yes, that a plan B is needed!
    Rational arguments about how we need to get rid of insurance companies and establish a competition-based system just make no sense…especially after seeing what the Canadians have been experiencing.
    Granted. The amount of money that Canadians pay for medical services is much less than what Americans pay. But what about the availability of all these services in America compared to that in Canada? That gap in availability between the two nations makes the difference.

  9. civisisus says:

    If you’re trying to make the case that slower access = worse care, shouldn’t you post the mortality results that correspond in the two circumstances?

  10. Baker says:

    More competition! Not less. However the USA will still need some form of redistribution to ensure healthcare for the poor; it just needs to be competitive.