VANCOUVER, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - Federal MPs Terence Young, Ujjal Dosanjh and
Jean Crowder say they want core funding preserved for the Therapeutics
Initiative, an internationally acclaimed drug watchdog based at the
University of British Columbia.
The MPs spoke at a luncheon for concerned physicians, health experts and
health advocates organized in support of TI by the Canadian Association
of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC).
"The decision by the Campbell government to cut the TI's core funding by
almost half is jeopardizing the group's survival and ability to
continue all of its important work, including in the drug assessment
process," said Terence Young, Conservative MP for Oakville and author
of Death by Prescription. "This will no doubt result in preventable deaths from dangerous use of
new prescription drugs, so I urge the BC government to reverse this
On Friday the provincial government tried to downplay the impact of its
response to recommendations by an industry-dominated Pharmaceutical
Task Force by announcing that TI was being offered contracts worth
$150,000 to conduct clinical evidence reviews.
"What's ironic is that the government simultaneously publicly confirmed
for the first time that it wants to slash the TI's annual core funding
by $450,000," said CAUT's executive director James Turk. "We all know
no organization can survive that kind of a cut in the long term."
"The TI is a model of independent drug assessment that should be saved
in BC and adopted across all of Canada," said Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal MP
for Vancouver South and Party Health Critic. "It is the cornerstone of
a universal public pharmacare program, grounded on evidence not
"What's happening in BC is part of a broader campaign by the
pharmaceutical industry to get dangerous new drugs to market faster.
First they get Health Canada to weaken safety standards for approvals
and then they pressure provinces to pay for unsafe and expensive new
drugs. It's time to put a stop to this abuse and get back to putting
health protection ahead of profit-making", said Jean Crowder, NDP MP
SOURCE Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
For further information:
contact Kerry Pither, CAUT Communications, at mobile (613) 294-2203 or Mike McBane, CHC's national coordinator, at mobile (613) 277-6295