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Federal Drug Policy, And Its Correlation With The Shortage Of Drugs

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In this essay, federal drug policy, and its correlation with the shortage of drugs in Canada, will be considered. In particular, the disruption of drug supply will be considered, with a specific focus on drug supply within the province of Ontario. A discussion will ensue surrounding drug pricing and policy, and the ways in which these frameworks can ultimately serve to affect the efficacy of medical treatment and the safety of patients. Finally, the paper will focus on the accountability of multiple stakeholders, at both the federal and provincial levels, in terms of supplying medically necessary drugs to Canadians. This analysis will encompass the dominant role played by pharmaceutical actors in Canada. Finally, conclusions will be drawn…show more content…
In order to adequately and fully grasp the role played by the private sector in drug policy in Canada, one must first consider its origins. Under the Canada Constitution Act of 1982, sections 91 and 92 enumerate the federal and provincial division of powers – thus delineating the framework within which decision-making would take place at both levels. Interestingly enough, while section 91 elaborated upon the primacy of the federal economic role, and section 92 specified the social role played by the provincial government, health was not an area specifically canvassed within the Act itself (Lam, K. Class lecture, January 13, 2015). Not indicating health directly as a provincial responsibility created a game-blaming between federal and provincial government on taking accountability for drug shortages. Federal government claims that when provinces sign contracts with manufacturers to list drugs that they should require no disruption in supply. Provincial governments claim that federal government should take responsibility because drug supply is a national responsibility (Gagnon & Lexchin, 2008 ). Despite the centrality of decision-making pertaining to healthcare and its impact on federal economics, drug policy developed in a less controlled, and more patchwork manner. While tied to the purse strings of the federal budget, decision-making with regard to drug policy was delegated to the provinces, on the understanding
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