Ontario’s shocking record on funding cancer drugs


CARP is working with a grass-roots citizens group, the Ontario Citizens Cancer Coalition, to make an election issue out of Ontario’s shocking record on funding cancer drugs and PET scans:

* SECOND WORST among all Canadian provinces, in fully funding access to newer intravenous cancer drugs

* WORST among all Canadian provinces, in funding access to PET scans

We’re already running radio commercials, and we’ve made this issue the highlight of our website www.nomorewaiting.info.

We’ve also sent a letter to all three party leaders, demanding a commitment to bring Ontario to parity with BC, the leader in funding of cancer drugs, and to parity with Quebec, the leader in funding of PET scans. We hope to use the fact that there’s a provincial election set for October 10, as a means of pressuring politicians to take action.

To give our campaign wider publicity, we’re staging a press conference and rally at the Ontario legislature building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, on Tuesday, September 18 at 10.30 a.m.

We need your support! We’re encouraging all CARP members in and near the GTA to join us at this important event, and to bring as many friends and family as possible. Go to www.nomorewaiting.info to get all the details of how you can participate. The more people we have at the event, the more press coverage we’ll get – and the stronger our position will be with the politicians. Thanks for giving this your attention!

An important note to our readers outside Toronto

Even if you live outside Ontario, however, you may still find this issue to be an important one. The latest issue of CARP Action Online went out only a few days ago, but we’ve already had over 1,200 responses to our survey, which dealt with funding access to drugs. So far the results show our readers think this is a critical issue:

* 88% strongly or somewhat agree that access to the newer drugs is going to be a major health issue going forward

* 75% strongly or somewhat agree that they rely on their province’s drug benefit program to help them get access to the drugs they need

* 52% strongly or somewhat agree that they are not satisfied with their own province’s drug benefit plan

* 94% strongly or somewhat agree that all Canadians should have the same access

So even if the Ontario record, and the results of the Ontario election, do not affect you directly, we hope you will still be interested in seeing what CARP is doing with this issue. Depending on how our campaign goes in Ontario – and, in particular, our ability to gain public attention and support during an election campaign – we may learn valuable lessons that we can apply in other provinces. We certainly welcome your ideas and comments!