British Columbia’s Sell-out to Drug Companies

Paul Webster provides a good overview in the Vancouver Observer of the BC liberal government’s gutting of public-service drug research and analysis in the province, including this admission from Premier Christy Clark about axing the Therapeutics Initiative:

Unplugging the Therapeutics Initiative, the premier suggested, was in keeping with her commitment to “a businesslike manner” in running the government. “We are managing the costs of drugs as best we can,” she insisted in language verging on doublespeak. “Since I have been Premier, we have lowered the cost of generic drugs for seniors. And we have done that by working hard with the pharmacies that provide those drugs.”

But the need to control drug costs has to be balanced with “respecting the private sector,” she explained. The attack on the teams that audit drug safety and spending, she seemed to want people to believe, was necessary in “supporting an economy that is growing, that is going to pay for the things we need.”

Clark appeared to be suggesting the TI was being sacrificed to appease private interests.