The Québec government causes a stomach ache for the 200 000 patients with digestive disorders

MONTREAL, March 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the decision by Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Réjean Hébert to set a ceiling on the price of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), medicines used to treat a specific digestive disorder, the Gastrointestinal Society ( is of the opinion that the Québec government is instead creating stomach aches for over 200,000 patients with digestive problems who may be faced with a medication change in the coming months.

The Gastrointestinal Society is distressed to see that the Minister of Health and Social Services has decided to unilaterally change the choice of 200,000 Québec patients by instituting a switch to substitute medications.

"Not all medicines are created equal. The forced substitution of one pharmaceutical product by another is an act that could prove dangerous because different patients can react very differently depending on the selected medicines. Yet, it is the Minister that will choose your medicine for you because price is all that matters," said Gary Fabian, Gastrointestinal Society Executive Director for Québec and Atlantic Canada.

In his decision, Minister Hébert announced that as of next October 1, all patients with digestive disorders should use the least expensive products on the market for a specific medical condition, regardless of the treatment chosen by physician and patient together.

"Though the notice indicates that the government is implementing the measure for economic reasons, namely that it will result in major savings, it does not take into account added costs that will ensue, including visits to the doctor, the ER, as well as additional tests and analyses. Put simply, these promised savings do not take into account extra costs that will occur," added Mr. Fabian.

About the Gastrointestinal Society
In 1976, the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research (CSIR) arose as the first registered charity in Canada to enhance public awareness by providing patient and professional information and funding medical research on a wide array of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.

There are as many as 6 million Canadians with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more than 9 million with functional dyspepsia, there could be as many as 8 million with chronic acid reflux (GERD), and a further 165,000 suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and ulcerative colitis). These are only a few examples of the conditions we cover. Surprisingly, despite these alarming statistics, the gastrointestinal field is critically under-funded.

SOURCE: Gastrointestinal Society

For further information:

Gary Fabian
Executive Director, Québec and Atlantic Canada
Gastrointestinal Society

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Gastrointestinal Society

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