Foreign Countries Limit Access To Prescription Drugs

Government-Set Formularies Deny Patients Proven Medicines

In every OECD nation where the government provides prescription drug benefits, access to life-saving and life enhancing drugs is restricted. Whenever government programs “guarantee” prescription drug benefits, experience shows that these programs invariably deny patients access to new medicines.

British Doctor Can’t Prescribe Cancer Drug He Developed

  • Professor Edward Newlands of Charing Cross Hospital in West London was one of the scientists who worked on the original research into the drug Temodal, a treatment for brain cancer. But according to Reuters, Dr. Newland cannot prescribe the drug to his patients because of budget restrictions created by the National Health Service. [Source: Reuters]

Japanese Still Wait for Access to Arthritis Drug

  • Because of government controls, many ground-breaking new medicines — such as the arthritis pain reliever Celebrex — are simply unavailable in Japan. Arthritis suffers in Japan can expect to wait at least two more years until they enjoy access to the revolutionary new treatments available in the United States. (Source: CBS News, Sunday Morning, 1/16/00)

Limited Access for Two Cancer Drugs in Britian

  • In Britain, the National Health Service rations the availability of Taxol, a widely prescribed drug for the treatment of breast cancer. Gemzar, a drug used to treat patients with pancreatic cancer is simply unavailable. [Source: Taylor and Mossman, Living With Ovarian Cancer: A Cancer BACUP Care Survey, 1999]

Ontario Delays Making New Drugs Available

  • In Ontario, thousands of seniors are denied access to proven drugs to treat for osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as authorities delay adding these medicines to the provincial formulary for budget reasons. [Source: Globe and Mail, January 8, 1998]

Infrequent Use of Common Medicine for Heart Patients

  • Less that one-third of patients with a heart attack took beta-blockers despite the fact that such post heart attack use has been documented to reduce death by 20 percent. In the U.S., 75 percent of similar patients are prescribed a beta blocker. [Source, K.W. Clark, British Heart Journal]

For more information, please contact:

Grace-Marie Arnett
Galen Institute
(703) 299-8900


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