Ottawa to spend $1.5 billion to improve access to drugs for rare diseases
Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, on Friday, March 10, 2023. The federal government says it will spend up to $1.5 billion over the next three years to improve access to new drugs used to treat rare diseases.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Montreal (CP) – The federal government says it will spend up to $1.5 billion over the next three years to improve access to drugs used to treat rare diseases.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says up to $1.4 billion of that money will be used to help provinces and territories expand coverage of new and existing drugs that treat rare diseases.
The federal government says it wants to create a list of new and emerging drugs for rare diseases that would be covered in a similar way by all provincial and territorial health insurance plans.
Another $52 million will be used to gather evidence on the safety and effectiveness of these drugs as well as for research on diagnostic tools and creating a clinical trials network.
And $33 million will go to Indigenous Services Canada to support eligible First Nations and Inuit patients with rare diseases
The government says one in 12 Canadians has a rare disease, and that innovative treatments for those diseases can cost between $100,000 and $2 million per year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2023.
Health Foundation commits $325,000 to support child, adolescent mental health
Foundation donors provide furnishings, supplies for program for ages 13 to 17
Thanks to Central Alberta donors, the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is supporting Step Up Step Down, a program helping youth aged 13 to 17 who have complex mental health challenges.
Step-Up Step-Down will find a new home in the Centre of Excellence, described as a centre for “healing, recovery, and prevention” being built at Red Deer Polytechnic.
“We thank our generous donors for supporting the Foundation’s greatest needs, which allows us to dedicate funds to help young people and families in our community,” says Manon Therriault, Chief Executive Officer of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.
Funds raised by the Foundation will provide a fully furnished, equipped and supplied environment to allow staff to provide timely recreational, therapeutic, and extracurricular activities to the youth in care. Funded items include furnishings, equipment, and supplies for the kitchen, bedrooms, sensory and therapy rooms, classroom, living room, gym, outdoor spaces, and indoor activity spaces.
The move into the Centre of Excellence will allow expansion of the Step Up Step Down program up to 16 beds from the current 5 beds and allow the program to provide intensive, comprehensive, individualized clinical services to youth in a live-in and community setting.
Step Up Step Down will support approximately 50-75 live-in treatment families, along with 100 intensive outpatient families per year, reducing stress on the Emergency Department and Pediatric Psychiatric units at the Red Deer Hospital. The facility will serve youth and families from all areas of the Central Zone.
About Red Deer Regional Health Foundation
The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is a fundraising organization for Alberta Health Services Central Zone, with a mandate to raise and disburse funds for programs, services, and the purchase of medical equipment.
Ruling clears way for Purdue Pharma to settle opioid claims, protect Sacklers from lawsuits
Jayde Newton helps to set up cardboard gravestones with the names of victims of opioid abuse outside the courthouse where the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy is taking place in White Plains, N.Y., on Aug. 9, 2021. A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday, May 30 overturned a lower court’s 2021 ruling that found bankruptcy courts did not have the authority to protect members of the Sackler family who own the company and who have not filed for bankruptcy protection from lawsuits. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
By Geoff Mulvihill
A federal court ruling cleared the way Tuesday for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s settlement of thousands of legal claims over the toll of opioids.
Under the plan approved by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, members of the wealthy Sackler family would give up ownership of Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, which would become a new company known as Knoa, with its profits being used to fight the opioid crisis. They would also contribute $5.5 billion to $6 billion in cash over time. A chunk of that money — at least $750 million — is to go to individual victims of the opioid crisis and their survivors. Only one other major opioid lawsuit settlement includes payments for victims.
Tuesday’s decision also protects members of the Sackler family from lawsuits over the toll of opioids, even though they did not file for bankruptcy.
The court’s ruling reversed a 2021 ruling that found bankruptcy court judges did not have the authority to approve a settlement that would offer bankruptcy protections for those who have not filed for bankruptcy.
Those protections are at the heart of the proposed deal that would end claims against Purdue filed by thousands of state, local and Native American tribal governments and other entities.
“It’s a great day for victims, some of who desperately need the money and have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Ed Neiger, a lawyer representing individual victims.
Sackler family members have been clear: If they don’t get the legal protections, they won’t do their part of the deal.
“The Sackler families believe the long-awaited implementation of this resolution is critical to providing substantial resources for people and communities in need,” family members who own Purdue said in a statement Tuesday. “We are pleased with the Court’s decision to allow the agreement to move forward and look forward to it taking effect as soon as possible.”
Purdue issued its own statement, calling the ruling “a victory for Purdue’s creditors, including the states, local governments, and victims who overwhelmingly support the Plan of Reorganization.” The company said it would focus on delivering “billions of dollars of value for victim compensation, opioid crisis abatement, and overdose rescue medicines.”
Several states had been withholding support for the plan, but after a new round of negotiations last year, all of them came on board. That left just one high-profile objector: the Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, an arm of the Justice Department.
A lawyer from that office told the 2nd Circuit in April 2022 that it’s a “fundamental inconsistency” that people who do not seek bankruptcy protection and have to give up most of their assets could be exempted from some lawsuits.
The Justice Department has not immediately said whether it would appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. A spokesperson declined comment Tuesday.
The the latest version of the settlement must still be approved by a bankruptcy court judge before it can be finalized.
While Sackler family members still technically own Purdue, they stopped receiving money from the company years ago.
All three federal appeals judges who heard the Purdue case last year agreed that the Sackler family can be protected from lawsuits. But one — Richard Wesley — said in a separate opinion that he did so reluctantly, noting that while courts allow such deals they’re not explicitly allowed under bankruptcy law.
Purdue is perhaps the highest-profile player in the opioid industry. But several other drugmakers, distribution companies and pharmacies also have been sued by state and local governments. While a handful of cases have gone to trial, many also are being settled.
The total value of proposed and finalized settlements in recent years is more than $50 billion. Companies that have reached deals include drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Teva; distribution giants AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson; and pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. Most of the money is required to be used to fight the opioid crisis, which has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades, including more than 70,000 a year recently.
In recent years, most of the deaths have been connected to fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids, not prescription painkillers.
20 year old Red Deer man faces child pornography charges
Police looking for these 3 suspects after Super 8 Motel in Innisfail robbed early Monday morning
‘Tragic accident’ blamed for recent death of giraffe at Calgary Zoo
United Conservatives jump out to early lead in tight Alberta election
Agriculture2 days ago
Canada saw decline in fresh fruit, vegetable availability in 2022: StatCan
Health2 days ago
Health Foundation commits $325,000 to support child, adolescent mental health
Disaster2 days ago
One adult, 16 children injured in fall during school trip to Winnipeg historic site
armed conflict2 days ago
Court of Appeal overturns ruling directing Ottawa to help repatriate men in Syria
International2 days ago
David Johnston plans to keep role, as House of Commons votes for him to step aside
Business22 hours ago
Peavey Industries LP, the Red Deer-based retailer, has announced the acquisition of long-term partner and fellow Red Deer stalwart, Guy’s Freightways.
National1 day ago
Firefighters from U.S., South Africa to battle Canada’s ‘unprecedented’ fires
Social Media2 days ago
Meta starts testing paid verification for Canadian Facebook, Instagram creators