PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING | JULY/AUGUST 2015 3 ■
■ FIND PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Canadians wait 462 days for access
to new drugs
by Jason Lomberg, Editor, Pharmaceutical
During the hullabaloo surrounding passage of
President Obama’s signature
piece of legislation, the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care
Act (aka, Obamacare), propo-
nents extolled the virtues of
Canada’s free healthcare system.
Critics slammed that same sys-
tem for its alleged wait times
(among other sins). A new report from Canada’s
Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)
sheds considerable light on the latter.
Rx&D notes that 64 percent of available new medicines were reimbursed in at least one province.
However, when only considering products that were
“reimbursable across provinces accounting for at least
80 percent of the eligible national public drug plan
population,” Canada fares much worse. A scant 23
percent of new medicines received public reimbursement across the country, with Canada ranking 17 of 18
in a list that includes the U.S., EU, Japan, and China.
But it gets worse. Canada was the quickest to
launch new drugs – at 74 days – but amongst the
slowest to reimburse. In the 80 percent eligibility
bracket, Canadians waited an average of 462 days
for access to new drugs. Allow me to repeat that
for emphasis – 462 days.
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1Kp2Yqs
Americans blame pharmaceutical
companies for high drug prices
A recent national poll found that Americans are
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1J4Bw1e
far more likely to blame pharmaceutical companies
for high prescription medication costs than health
insurers. The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that
nearly three-quarters of respondents believed pre-
scription drug costs are unreasonable, and that of
those participants, 76 percent believed drug compa-
nies set their prices too high. In addition, 77 percent
of respondents selected drug company profits as a
major factor in prescription prices.
The ‘Breaking Bad’ chemist who’s
making science cool
You probably didn’t know it at
the time, but if you were a fan
of the hit-show “Breaking Bad,”
you were also enjoying the
work of Dr. Donna Nelson. The
phenomenon AMC series fol-
lowed a high school chemistry
teacher who’s diagnosed with
terminal cancer and then starts
producing and selling the drug methamphetamine
to secure a financial future for his family.
A few episodes into its first season, Nelson read an
interview with the show’s producer, Vince Gilligan,
where he mentioned that they wanted to get the
science of the show right, but none of the writers
had a science background. So Nelson offered her
expertise and was brought on board as the show’s
chemistry advisor. During a keynote speech at the
SAP For Chemicals conference, Nelson discussed why
this opportunity wasn’t just a way for her to help
the show portray chemistry accurately — it was her
chance to be a part of something that showed how
cool science can be.
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1Sp5pLc
Scientists finally studying promising
chemical in marijuana
Medical researchers are beginning to study whether
the hype surrounding a chemical in marijuana
matches reality. Proponents of cannabidiol largely
believe that the chemical provides many of marijua-na's therapeutic characteristics. And unlike tetrahy-drocannabinol, or THC, it doesn't get the user high.
But in the decades since its discovery cannabidiol
remained difficult to study.
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1Gts57N