Fixing Canada’s access to medicines regime

Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) was a unanimous pledge by Parliament to help people dying in developing countries because they lack access to affordable medicines.

So far, it has delivered only one medicine to one country since Parliament created it more than eight years ago (in May 2004).

CAMR is clearly not working.

It needs to be reformed to address the unnecessary deficiencies and limitations that have rendered it cumbersome and user-unfriendly for both developing countries and the manufacturers of lower-cost, generic medicines — the two parties that need to make use of CAMR if patients are to get the medicines they need.

In the last Parliament, the House of Commons passed another bill (Bill C-393) that would have made key changes to CAMR to make it work; including enacting what has been called the ‘one license solution.’

The bill was passed by a large majority in early March 2011 with strong support from MPs belonging to all parties.

However, Bill C-393 did not proceed through all the necessary stages in the Senate before Parliament was dissolved for a federal election a few days later; therefore, the bill died on the order paper and did not become law.

In the current Parliament, a new bill — Bill C-398 — was introduced in February 2012. This bill reintroduced the core reforms to CAMR that were already endorsed by the strong majority of MPs with the last bill. The large pharmaceutical companies have declared support. Bill C-398 gave Parliament a second chance to pass the changes needed to streamline CAMR.

It was with great disappointment that we learned the on Nov. 28, Earl Dreeshen, our Member of Parliament for Red Deer, and 148 MPs voted against Bill C-398. This resulted in a seven-vote defeat of this important legislation.

I have asked Mr. Dreeshen to provide his reasons for taking this position, contrary to the opinion of many of Red Deer constituents who are actively working to reduce suffering by people in Africa and other developing areas of the world.

Sam Denhaan

Red Deer

Just Posted

Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

Rebels Forward Brandon Hagel signs deal with Chicago Blackhawks

Alexeyev, Anders make Player and Goalie of the Week in October and early November

Dean Brody heads to Red Deer with stripped down, acoustic show

Dirt Road Stories tour offers a kitchen party lodge-type experience

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Most Read