LinkPad: Patient safety, access to medicines and the case for incremental/continuous innovation

Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced new patient safety legislation last week to protect Canadians from unsafe medicines. This legislation, also known as Vanessa's Law, is part of the government's commitment to patient safety, as pledged in the 2013 Speech from the Throne. The new legislation includes mandatory adverse drug reaction reporting, tougher new penalties for unsafe products and requirements for plain language labeling.

To find out more:

Harper Government Introduces New Law to Protect Patients

Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa's Law)

In New Brunswick, the provincial government unveiled its new drug plan to ensure that prescription drug insurance is available to everyone and help New Brunswickers with catastrophic drug costs. This program will give New Brunswickers better access to the medicines and therapies they need, while contributing to overall healthcare sustainability across the province.

Read more: New Brunswick Drug Plan

Rx&D President Russell Williams wrote an interesting piece published by Huffington Post Canadal. Williams makes the case for incremental innovation in Canadian health care. As Williams highlights, "we must not lose sight of the fact that innovation must be viewed over the longer term and is, for the most part, undertaken in small incremental steps. One innovation will bring about the next." Incremental innovation maximizes the overall ability to respond to patient needs, producing better health incomes and ultimately, cost reductions.

Read the full article: Canadian health care needs to make like the iPhone and Evolve

Finally, the fall parliamentary session wrapped up this week. MPs agreed that the House would rise Tuesday evening for a six-week Christmas break. Parliamentarians will return to Ottawa on January 27, 2014.