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As 2012 comes to a close, COA would like to wish its members, partners, and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the COA Dispatch, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.

Alors que 2012 touche à sa fin, l'ACO souhaite à ses membres, partenaires et autres professionnels du secteur une heureuse saison de fêtes en toute sécurité. Tandis que nous réfléchissons sur l'année écoulée pour l'industrie, nous aimerions proposer aux lecteurs du Dépêche de l'ACO, un regard sur les articles les plus consultés de l'année. Notre publication régulière reprendra le mardi 8 janvier 2013.

10. National strategy in the works on 'orphan drugs'
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 9, 2012: After years of debate, Canada is set to create a national framework to improve access to "orphan drugs" for people who suffer from rare disorders. "Orphan drugs" is a term applied to medications that are used to treat chronic or debilitating conditions that only affect a handful of people. The new framework, announced by federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, will provide a national strategy for authorizing and monitoring the use of orphan drugs as well as helping to spur research and development of new drugs to treat rare diseases. More

9. Drug shortages could get worse in N.L.
CBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 30, 2012: Cold and flu season has arrived, but some over-the-counter remedies are in short supply in this province. Products like NeoCitran and Buckley's cough syrup are absent from many pharmacy shelves. "Probably a couple of months now, I think, it's been out from the manufacturer," said Stephanie Freake, who works at a pharmacy on Topsail Rd in St. John's. The Secretary-Registrar of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board Don Rowe says in this particular case, the shortage stems from quality control issues which led the US Food and Drug Administration to stop production at the Nebraska-based factory that supplies these products to all of Canada. More

8. Health IT for consumers could transform health care
Troy Media    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 30, 2012: Some of the great innovators in retailing in the past decade emerged as giants because they recognized that consumers prefer the convenience of electronic delivery. Think of how Apple enables you to buy music instantly via iTunes, Amazon can deliver a book to your e-reader while you're luxuriating by the pool, or Netflix makes the trip to the local video store a thing of the past. And yet, only a handful (between four per cent and eight per cent) of health care consumers in Canada experience similar conveniences when it comes to even the simplest needs, such as reviewing routine test results or getting a prescription renewed. More

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7. Generic OxyContin would be 'tragedy'
CTV News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 20, 2012: With the powerful painkiller's patent set to expire in just over a week, Ontario's health minister says it will be a "tragedy" if drug companies are given permission to sell generic versions of OxyContin in Canada. Deb Matthews, along with other provincial and territorial health ministers, has urged Ottawa to step in as Health Canada weighs the merits and dangers of approving a generic form of OxyContin. "We've seen the devastation caused by OxyContin. We do not need to repeat this story," she warned in an interview with CTV's Canada AM. Specifically, Matthews said she's encouraging her federal counterpart Leona Aglukkaq to "instruct" the agency to delay the approval of any Oxy generics as they explore the safety risks associated with the painkiller. Her chief concern is that OxyContin alternatives will be just as addictive and prone to abuse as the original drug. More

6. Changes to federal health spending will hit provincial governments hard    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 2, 2012: A new report from a federal spending watchdog concludes the Conservative government's changes to health funding will ultimately download billions of dollars in medical costs annually to the provinces, something premiers and opposition parties say will erode public health care and provincial finances. The office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report highlighting the extent to which provincial governments will increasingly struggle to balance their books and pay for health care in the coming years, partly due to the federal Conservative government's decision to trim the growth in health transfers to the provinces. The Harper government’s reforms over the past year to the Canada Health Transfer and Old Age Security, along with its ongoing savings in operating spending, mean the federal government’s finances are sustainable over the long-term, the report says. More


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5. Un nouveau centre chirurgical potentiel pour Regina
Regina Leader-Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 9, 2012: Le contrat n'est pas encore signé, mais la région sanitaire de Regina Qu'Appelle est en négociation avec Aspen Medical Canada pour effectuer des opérations financées par l'État à sa clinique privée, Aspen Medical Surgery. «Nous sommes très proches d'un accord », a déclaré Trent Truscott, directeur exécutif des soins chirurgicaux de la région. Il s'attend à une décision dans quelques semaines. More

4. Les médicaments pour le TDAH suspectés de nuire aux enfants canadiens
The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 2, 2012: Une enquête du Toronto Star révèle qu'un nombre croissant de médecins, d'infirmières, de pharmaciens et de parents rapportent qu'ils croient que les médicaments pour le déficit de l'attention sont à l'origine des problèmes de santé majeurs chez les patients, dont plusieurs sont âgés entre 6 et 7 ans. More

3. Younger generation won't be able to cover health tab for baby-boomers
Calgary Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 23, 2012: Canada's "pay-as-you-go" health funding model hasn't socked away enough cash to care for aging baby-boomers — and younger generations might not be willing to cover the looming medical system tab, Calgary researchers say. A new University of Calgary School of Public Policy report suggests today's funding model that sees governments set aside current tax revenues to pay for today's health costs is unsustainable. Public health care is set to get more expensive as baby boomers reach retirement and begin to rely more heavily on the health care system, said Herb Emery, one of the authors of the report. More

2. Using Canada's health system as model might cut U.S. costs
Doctors Lounge    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 6, 2012: "Canada's Medicare program has been much more successful in controlling costs than the U.S. Medicare program," said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor in CUNY's School of Public Health. Many factors play into the difference, Woolhandler said. "Canada's system is a real single-payer system — our system is single-payer for only a portion of the population," she said. This results in higher administrative costs in the United States compared to Canada, Woolhandler said. "In the U.S., administrative costs are about 31 per cent of health care costs and it's about 16 per cent in Canada," she said. More

1. Who's fighting for private health insurance in Canada?
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 2, 2012: It's been seven years since the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Quebec's ban on using private insurance for "medically necessary" services covered by medicare. Little has changed since then, but it looks like the seven-year itch is taking hold, because similar cases in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. are all expected before the courts in the coming months. The lawsuits all claim that thousands of Canadians suffer irreversible harm as a direct result of the prohibition on the sale of private insurance. They argue that long waits for care, and the inability to circumvent those waits, violate the right to life, liberty and security of the person guaranteed under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The fundamental issue is whether individual rights trump those of the collectivity. More

COA Dispatch / Dépêche de l'ACO
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