September 21, 2014

Canadian Healthcare Needs to Tackle Dementia
Susan Eng's latest column for the Huffington Post

News that Spirit of the West vocalist, John Mann, has early onset Alzheimer’s is the latest in a series of wake up calls that Canada needs to get ready for a burgeoning incidence of dementia as the population ages. The percentage of people afflicted may not be increasing but the sheer size of the boomer generation reaching the vulnerable age bands is a challenge that Canada’s healthcare system has yet to meet. Read more

CARP calls for national senior care strategy, with or without Ottawa
CARP in the Queen's Park Briefing

What does Canada need to make a countrywide strategy to care for an aging population? Ten premiers in agreement and not much else, according to CARP, an advocacy group for senior citizens. “There’s no point in spending out time pummeling the dead horse of a federal role,” CARP vice-president of advocacy Susan Eng says. Eng says her organization and its members aren’t waiting for a federal partner that may or may not arrive after next year’s federal elections – they want to see the premiers take action on a national senior-care plan now. Read more

Despite OAS eligibility shift, record expenditures by 2033
Chief Actuary's OAS report says baby boomer retirement is behind projected increase

Of course, costs are going to increase with the ageing Baby Boomer generation, she added, but as former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page noted — they were going to fall again dramatically after. “A government fiscal plan is always a matter of choice — spend on preventing poverty in old age (the essential purpose of the OAS/GIS) or spend it on F-35s or income splitting — which will pull $3 billion out of tax revenues annually... Read more

Saving lives and healthcare dollars
Susan Eng's interview with AM740's Jane Brown

Canada’s Premiers are discussing the idea of a National Seniors Strategy as they meet this week in Charlottetown. As part of this, CARP – A New Vision of Aging and Shoppers Drug Mart, want to see pharmacists take a greater role in outcomes for people taking medication, particularly older Canadians. Approximately five percent of all emergency room visits and six percent of all hospital stays are the result of adverse drug reactions... Read more

Report builds case for expanding med reviews
Joint Shopper's/CARP Report calls for comprehensive national approach

The document then urges governments to open the program up so that Canadians have equal access to it, collecting different sets of research to make the case for expanded coverage. One study shows that among CARP members who have undergone a medication review, the vast majority say they are beneficial and would recommend them to others. The report also shows there is strong support from physicians for pharmacist-led medication reviews. Read more

CARP Toronto Mayoral Debate available on Rogers TV and
CARP's Etobicoke Chapter stages major debate and receives amazing coverage

Interested voters in Toronto who didn’t manage to get a ticket for the sold out CARP Etobicoke Chapter Mayoral Debate, were able to tune in to their local Rogers Channel in Toronto to watch the debate LIVE. Read more

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CARP and the CMA Host Roundtable During Council of the Federation meeting
Calling on the Premiers to consider a national senior's strategy in Charlottetown, PEI

CARP recently visited Charlottetown, PEI to raise seniors health care as a priority in parallel to the Premiers’ Council of the Federation meeting in Charlottetown. CARP co-hosted with the Canadian Medial Association (CMA) a seniors roundtable, which brought together various experts, politicians, and members of the public to discuss the importance a national senior’s strategy. CARP also attended the receptions for the Council of the Federation, which meant we met with many of the premiers and also that CARP now boasts several new members... Read more

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CARP Pharmacare Poll
1. Are you enrolled in a prescription drug coverage plan?

Yes, provincial plan for seniors

Yes, provincial plan (OTHER)

Yes, private plan


2. Does your drug plan have a copay or deductible?

Yes, 20%

Yes, less than 20%

Yes, more than 20%

No deductible


3. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe, or CETA, which has been finalized by the federal government, allows foreign prescription drug companies to extend their patent protections, leading to higher costs for prescription drugs, and fewer options for less expensive generic drugs. Do you think it’s a good idea or not a good idea for the government to sign CETA?

Yes, good idea to sign CETA

No, not a good idea to sign CETA


4. Do you believe it is the federal government’s responsibility to reimburse the provinces for the higher cost of drugs due to CETA?




5. Despite their promises and publicity, foreign pharmaceutical firms spend very little on research and development in Canada and have cut jobs in Canadians operations. Do you agree or disagree drug companies operating in Canada should be required to spend a set percentage of their Canadian revenues on Canadian R&D or Canadian jobs?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


6. Experts say we could save more than $10 billion a year by creating a national pharmacare program. Do you agree or disagree this is a good idea?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


7. How would a national pharmacare program best be designed?

Universal, first dollar coverage for everyone

First dollar coverage subject to income test

First dollar coverage for seniors, children and vulnerable groups

Universal, first dollar coverage only for very high cost drugs

First dollar coverage with an income test only for very high cost drugs

First dollar coverage only for very high cost drugs for seniors, children, etc.

Universal coverage with a co-pay or deductible

Coverage with a co-pay or deductible and an income test

Coverage with a co-pay or deductible for seniors, children, etc


8. Creating a national pharmacare program would require governments to negotiate prices and access with private sector insurers and pharmaceutical companies. Who do you believe would have the advantage in these negotiations?


Insurers/pharmaceutical companies




9. Part of the $10 billion per year saved from creating a national public pharmacare program would have to come from eliminating private sector insurance companies from the market, and private drug plans. Do you agree or disagree this is a good idea?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


10. If a national pharmacare plan were created, should it be income-tested for full coverage?





11. At what income level per single person should a national pharmacare subsidy be set?

Less than $10K a year

Less than $15K a year

Less than $20K a year

Less than $25K a year

Less than $30K a year

Less than $35K a year

Less than $40K a year

Less than $50K a year



12. Which one of the following do you think is the most important aspect of a national pharmacare plan?

First dollar coverage/no co-pay or deductible

Same drugs covered by government in every province

Completely public sector/no private insurers

Open to private sector insurers

Provincially managed with national standards

Federally managed/same across country

Same price for same drug in every market

Affordable drug prices in every market


13. Some less expensive generic drugs get taken off the market when they are no longer profitable, despite still being used by patients. Do you agree or disagree governments should purchase the licenses for these drugs and pay manufacturers to produce them?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


14. Do you agree or disagree that recent shortages of critical prescription drugs like vaccines are an effort by pharmaceutical manufacturers to pressure governments not to lower drug prices?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


15. What is the best answer to shortages of critical prescription drugs and vaccines?

Governments should stockpile strategic drugs and vaccines

Pay pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce adequate strategic drugs

Better planning by pharmaceutical manufacturers

Better planning by governments

Mandated adequate supply of critical prescription drugs and vaccines

Mandated early warning reports of expected shortages



16. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party’s candidate would you support?




Green Party

Bloc Quebecois



17. Where do you live?


Nova Scotia


New Brunswick







18. What is your gender?



  [See Results]
Previous Issues/Archives
August 28th, 2014
August 9th, 2014
July 31st, 2014
July 15th, 2014
June 27th, 2014
June 6th, 2014
May 16th, 2014

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Everyday Hero
The Middle-Aged Guide to Growing Up

Capt. John Yancey, USMC (Ret.) was a retired liquor store owner, and Arkansas’ most decorated war hero. He had earned his first Navy Cross in WWII, along with a battlefield commission to Lieutenant, and then joined up again for Korea at the age of 32. He and his compny of 270 men attacked up Hill 1282 during the Battle of Choisin Reservoir. He took three Chinese bullets to his face, and ended up leading just 23 men back down the hill after taking it and being reinforced. He walked 10 miles to the medic tent. He won his second Navy Cross for that, plus 3 Purple Hearts. Many think he should have gotten the Congressional Medal of Honor... Read more

Canadians want Ottawa to take bigger role in guiding public health
New survey shows overwhelming support for federal leadership on this file

Canadians want the federal government to take back a leadership role in health care and the provincial premiers to push for changes to funding of the health-care system, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by Nanos Research and commissioned by the Canadian Health Coalition, says a majority of Canadians – 83 per cent – agree that the federal government plays a “significant leadership role in securing the future of public health care in Canada.” This is an increase of five percentage points in the past two years, the survey says. Read more

New report outlines how pharmacists can save up to $1.9 billion
News Release and Brief for Joint Shopper's/CARP report

The increasing prevalence of complex chronic diseases is one of the most important health issues facing Canadians, making prevention and management a key priority for Canadian governments. According to a new report, expanding the role of pharmacists is one solution that will reduce the burden of chronic illness on patients, and save the system an estimated $1.4 to $1.9 billion dollars over three years. Read more

New PIAC Report puts a Price Tag on “Pay-to-Pay”
Public Interest Advocacy Centre Report says that paying for paper bills is costly and that Canadians oppose it

OTTAWA – In a new report the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) estimates Canadians are paying between $495 and $734 million annually in fees for monthly bills and statements in paper formats to the banking and communications services industries (phone, T.V., home internet and wireless). The report, entitled, “How to Pay the Piper: A Primer on Additional Charges to Consumers in Canada for Paper Billing,” examined the conduct of service providers in Canada who have begun to charge consumers for a paper bill and the impact of these practices on consumers. The report recommended the elimination of fees for paper billing, something the Government of Canada has committed twice in the past year. Read more

It’s a Win for CARP!
Federal Government says they will outlaw "pay-to-pay" billing practices

CARP has consistently opposed "pay-to-pay" fees on the grounds that they are patently unfair to seniors, especially lower-income seniors, who do not own or use computers and are trying to manage on fixed income. The CRTC recently announced that following their meetings with the telecom industry, participants had agreed to exempt customers with no internet connection and persons with disabilities from the billing practices. Shortly thereafter, the federal government announced that they... Click here to read the rest

Municipal Issues and Politics Poll Findings
The CARP Poll Report

Two thirds of members live in cities and virtually all agree these cities (and towns) should have recall power over mayors and councilors. Most see this recall power being exercised by a simple majority of council. Two thirds do not agree Canadian municipalities currently have enough tools to deal with wrongdoing by elected officials. While the majority agree cities and municipalities should be given more governance and revenue raising powers, only a third think the largest cities should be treated with special status as “city states”. The majority agree Toronto should not become a separate entity (nor the GTA) and, while some argue for de-amalgamation, most prefer the status quo. Read more

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