VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – One in 12 Canadians 55 years and older have decided not to take drugs their doctor said they should take, based on the cost. This is according to a recently released study from UBC.

This situation is causing people’s manageable health conditions to get worse, according to professor Steve Morgan with UBC’s school of population and public health, who says this costs us all more money in the end.

But if Morgan is expecting a change, Health Minister Terry Lake suggests that isn’t forthcoming.

“In British Columbia, we have a ‘Fair PharmaCare’ program, so it’s based on people’s income,” says Lake. “It is the fairest way to do that. To cover all prescription medications would be about an $8-billion cost across Canada. Some of that cost is currently being paid by extended health care, so it would come over to the taxpayer. That doesn’t mean we can’t take some of Dr. Morgan’s ideas and we are doing that through the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance by getting deals across the country, and in fact we have reduced the costs of generic drugs and also drugs like hepatitis C drugs to a great extent through this cooperative program that we have with provinces and territories.”

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