National prescription drug coverage would provide access to necessary medications to those who cannot afford them. A national drug program, could also save billions of dollars in healthcare expenditure. A 2016 poverty Backgrounder explained that the inability to afford prescription medications poses three problems: increased acute care expenditure over time, tenfold non-adherence to prescribed regimens among those with low household incomes, and inequitable access to necessary drugs. In 2010, Gagnon reported that generic drugs are often referred to as ‘tried and true’, they are often well researched and frequently used. Generic drugs in Canada are more than double the median price in other OECD countries. The current multi-payer system for prescription drug coverage is highly inefficient. Maintaining the status quo would lead to higher expenditures by employers and employees on private insurance plans. Research shows that employers and employees pay steep premiums, which increase labor costs and reduce competition. There is a negative correlation between drug expenditure and research and development of drugs over a 15-year period in Canada. Using the same data, countries who spend 35% less on pharmaceuticals spend more on research and development.
We’re living in a wealthy, healthy, privileged and developed country, we’re actually so privileged that we’ve masked the inequality that exists in our country. Health and wealth are correlated in Canada. The people with the four times the food insecurity rates also have the lowest life expectancies in the country. It’s a cycle that continuously affects the whole population through healthcare spending (tax dollars)- Canada can’t spend less on healthcare until everyone has equal opportunities for health.
Food banks are kind of like a band-aid… a necessary band-aid but band-aids don’t heal wounds or problems, they cover them. Policy intervention must take place in order to help those who are food insecure so that they can continuously have adequate food in their home. Adequate food is affordable and is nutritious. Adequate food is also food that the person knows how to prepare and has the tools to do so.
Do you know what will solve food insecurity? Hint: it’s not reduced food waste.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations has defined “food security” as existing when
“all people, at all times, have physical and economic
access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet
their dietary needs and food preferences for an active
and healthy life.”
In Canada, the absence of food security is “food
insecurity” – Not all Canadians
are able to afford enough food for themselves,
their partners, and children. In 2012, one in every eight
Canadian households experienced food insecurity.