On Friday 13 January Canada’s CBC’s “the fifth estate” programme featured a topic that has been an issue of concern to me for more than a decade – the high cost of pharmaceutical drugs. At the end of last year several people from CBC’s the fifth estate team came to New Zealand to investigate New Zealand’s solution to the problem – the establishment of PHARMAC – for an episode which focuses on what they refer to as Canada’s drug problem.
Canada is the only country in the world that has universal health care but no universal drug coverage. That means millions of Canadians cannot afford life-saving medication; they are splitting their pills, cutting back on their prescriptions, going deep into debt – and sometimes even dying. I was one of a number of people in New Zealand who were interviewed for this programme which can be viewed at:
UPDATE: Here is a link to the same program on YouTube: