What’s getting buried may surprise you DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs British Columbia is indeed a wond
Would ripping open the data vault to private interests make our health care system more efficient? The alleged $2 billion in annual savings is in the same “doesn’t pass the sniff test” category as the Premier’s royal proclamations on BC’s rich LNG future.
It’s true that benefits to patients could be found if those data were used to determine how well we prescribe drugs in children, for a disease such as asthma. By mining the data, we find that better use of inhaled corticosteroids could mean fewer visits to doctors and emergency rooms. But what if the data show the opposite? That too much of an asthma medication leads to worse control, more hospitalizations and deaths? If your ‘pharmaceutical partner’ on that research project catches wind of the early results and realizes they’ll blow a $500 million hole in their market, well, it’s time to get out the shovels boys, because we got a little burying to do. Mining indeed.