July 23 2010
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CARP members want the longevity test but won’t change lifestyle; Foreign
travel tops “bucket list”; Ready for e-Health but don’t see much progress;
Want uniform pricing for generic drugs.
CARP members seem content with their lives even if some expect to
outlive their money. The majority will take the longevity test if available but
despite the results, would not change their lifestyle. However, one third of
those who found out they had the longevity gene would take better care of
themselves and begin fulfilling their “bucket list”. Similarly, one third of
those who found out they did not have the gene would also live a better
lifestyle but more [40%] would get going on their “bucket list”.
One half of CARP members are interested in learning if they have the
genetic code to live to 100 years. Although few expect either to live that
long or wish to, half will complete a “bucket list” that most prominently
features exotic foreign travel.
On e-Health, nearly all the respondents were ready to have access to
electronic medical records for themselves or along with their doctors and
care teams. Only 7% thought that medical records should not be online.
However, despite the ongoing efforts to implement e-Health over the past
decade – with $2 Billion in federal spending and millions more in provincial
allocations, fully half of the respondents say they have not seen any
improvement in their healthcare which could be attributed to e-Health
initiatives. Contrary to some commentary that suggests that family doctors
are the laggards, nearly half of our members report that their doctors have
electronic medical records and can access lab tests and specialists
reports electronically now.
Many CARP members’ doctors already use electronic records, both in their
offices and in communication with other medical professionals, and
members would like to see them more widely used. Some members note
improvements across the entire health care system, or in their doctors’
offices only, as a result of e-Health initiatives.
Generic Drug Pricing
On Generic Drug Pricing Reform, with specific reference to the recently
announced reforms in BC, CARP members repeat their full support for
government initiatives to reduce generic drug prices. There is greater
support for cutting rebates or professional allowances as well as cutting
Well more than three quarters of members agree with Ontario’s campaign
to cut manufacturer rebates while cutting the price of generic drugs, and
the plurality say they “strongly approve”. Meanwhile, fewer than half
approve of BC’s approach, which led to lesser price reductions and no
elimination of rebates, and just one tenth “strongly approve”.
Oddly, although members are more likely to approve of Ontario’s generic
drug pricing policy than BC’s, they are far more likely to say BC’s approach
of consulting with pharmacists worked better than Ontario’s policy of
confronting them, even though BC’s price cuts were not as deep.
The plurality of members think Canadians should be able to buy generic
drugs at the same price across Canada, regardless of where they live. A
significant minority also believes prices should be the same regardless of
whether a drug plan or the consumer pays.
Members approve of Ontario and BC’s attempts to rein in the price of
generic drugs and end manufacturer rebates. While the outcome in Ontario
(no rebates) is preferred, the more conciliatory approach used in BC
(rebates in place, smaller price reductions, consultation with pharmacists)
is seen to be the better choice.
The Conservative Party continues to be favoured heavily over the Liberal
Party by our members.
Keywords: drugs, pricing