Sometimes when I consider the difference between government statements and government actions I am puzzled. The BC government’s decision to cease funding the Therapeutics Initiative is a good example. Operating out of UBC, this program has been providing doctors and pharmacists with unbiased, evidence based information concerning drug therapies. Drug companies spend billions each year attempting to convince doctors to prescribe their products.
I am puzzled at the cessation of funding for TI because Premier Clark has repeatedly stressed that her government will be watchful of taxpayer dollars and work hard to reduce provincial debt. The government’s budget for the Therapeutics Initiative in the last fiscal year was $550,000. According to a 2008 survey by TI, the information it provides has helped BC achieve the lowest per capita prescription rate in Canada. The research has saved us millions, and more importantly, it has saved lives. Independent drug policy researchers agree.
In one leadership debate, every leader other than the premier expressed support for the Therapeutics Initiative.
I wonder how many candidates for political office are prepared to press for the reinstatement of funding for this program, which is important for our health and our economy.