Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oy Canada: Make mine a double

Shot (courtesy Surgery Center of OK, about which we've posted):

"Family frustrated with lack of bed at Halifax hospital for mother with cancer"

One of the major problems with nationalized health care schemes is that the law of supply and demand is immutable. That is, there will always be a (growing) demand for health care, but there is also a limited (or at least finite) supply. We've seen what happens when you make health care a "right," and it's not pretty:

"Vowing to maintain public dental services in the province, Quebec’s health minister said Thursday he would sign a ministerial decree to block dentists from withdrawing from the public health system." The case at hand, though, is far more serious, since it involves a potentially life-threatening condition, and the patient suffering even more damage as a direct result of the system.

But then, these systems are also capable of turning out world class meds, which brings us to...

Chaser (via Ace of Spades):

"It is one of this country's great scientific achievements. The first drug ever approved that can fix a faulty gene ... But most Canadians have never heard of it."

Yup, that's right: Canadian researchers at the prestigious University of British Columbia "spent decades developing the treatment for people born with a genetic mutation that causes lipoprotein lipase disorder."

Decades, and tonnes of dollars loonies.

The condition, more commonly known as LPLD, is the result of a genetic mutation, and causes ones blood to thicken with potentially deadly results. It also renders females who suffer from it barren (due to the high risk of miscarriage).

The med, called Glybera, promises to fix all that. The problem is that it was just too expensive, and thus was allowed to whither away on the vine.

To be fair, this isn't the fault of Canada's health care system, but one of simple economics:

"Van Deventer says the company never considered lowering the price ... Why would we? Pricing shouldn't be a political decision. It should be a rational decision based on merits and values.'

Which is contra what a lot of folks here say about "Big Pharma."

Interesting dilemma, no?

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