Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Health Minister Terry Lake's Latest Money Quote About The Therapeutics Initiative...


You will likely be hearing a lot about a BC Pharmacare-listed smoking cessation drug marketed as 'Champix', BC Ministry of Health 'In-House' evaluations, adverse reactions, and maybe even a little bit about the independent 'Therapeutics Initiative' over the next newscycle or three.


What you will likely not hear, at least in any detail, is what, exactly Ms. Christy Clark (who championed Champix', listing by Pharmacare back in 2011) and her government is actually doing to said 'Therapeutics Inititiative'.

I, for one, would certainly hope the proMedia will press current Clark government Health Minister, Mr. Terry Lake, on the veracity of the following statement, as recorded for posterity by the VTC's Cindy Harnett:

...“Some of [Therapeutics Initiative’s] funding has [been] withheld pending an investigation of a data leak in the ministry — that’s the prudent thing to do,” Lake said. “We hope that we can clear all that up and continue with the relationship with the TI, but to suggest we are caving in to big pharma is absolutely ridiculous.”...

The Tyee's Andrew Macleod, who has done a lot of digging in the past, is also all over this story which erupted in the Ledge today.

The 'Therapeutics Initiative' has saved the people of British Columbia money and it has saved lives by assessing the true efficacy of drugs we publicly fund (or don't)...And here's the thing...It has been on the BC Liberal government's chopping block since at least 2010 when a certain fine Deputy Health Minister who was then serving at the OIC pleasure of one Mr. Gordon Campbell by the name of Mr. John Dyble (remember him - think 'quick wins' clean-up) offered up a very different explanation for cutting its funding...And then, in April of this year, with Christy and Co. fully at the helm of the BC Liberal government ship, it was reported in the GStraight that, according to Dr. Tom Perry at least, the funding for the Therapeutics Initiative had been pulled completely. At that time the then Health Minister Ms. Margaret MacDiarmid refused to comment and, bizarrely, the then mangager of communications for the Ministry, Mr. Ryan Jabs, referred G. Straight reporter Travis Lupick to the BC Liberal Party (i.e. not the government) for a comment....I am not making this up...The upshot?... In my opinion, neither of these two things (and lots more) jibe with Mr. Lake's statement from earlier today...


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