What is Open Pharma (http://open-pharma.org/) and why should you care?
Open Pharma is a campaign spearheaded by doctors that are concerned about the potential conflict of interest between drug companies and doctors. The impact to employee benefit plans can be significant. For example, a change in clinical guidelines for the treatment of a particular disease can mean hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in drug spend that employers pay for through their group insurance plan.
Now, as you all know, I am not a doctor, but I have read of many troubling issues over the years. One of the most telling was way back in 2012 when Purdue Pharma released OxyNEO in Canada. Purdue suggested that OxyNEO was harder to be crushed and abused than its predecessor Oxycontin. It sounds like a great PR opportunity of Pharma “doing the right thing”. What most don’t realize, is that OxyNEO was released in the US two years earlier. Why did they wait for two years to release it in Canada? Do they claim that what is good for Americans is not good for Canadians?
You might be interested to know that the Patent for Oxycontin was set to expire in 2012, while OxyNEO has patent protection for years to come. Again, don’t take my word for it, take a read of this article.
At the end of the day I want everyone to understand the basics of what I believe, based on my personal and professional experience:
- I want the best possible healthcare for all of us. Prescription drugs saved my daughter’s life.
- I am troubled by the dollars involved in drug companies influencing the prescribing habits of our doctors.
- We need to think about maintaining a sustainable healthcare system. Yes, we want better healthcare, but not with an unlimited chequebook.
So, if you are interested in ensuring there is no undue influence in our health care system, go to Open-Pharma.org and join the campaign.
Brian joined The Employee Benefits Division of Dupuis Langen Financial Management (1985) Ltd. in April 2017. He has specialized in employee benefits for 19 years and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. His history in self-funded plans, his analytical mind and his dedication to superior customer service make him a great addition. Contact Brian to customize an innovative and sustainable employee benefits program for your company!