Transcript: Show #10 | Dec 05, 2000

The title of the show appears: "Your Health." Clips of the episode are displayed behind the title sequence.

A slate appears with the caption "The advice given in the preceding programmes is of a general nature only viewers should consult their own medical professional for medical advice specific to their circumstances."

Maureen says THIS WEEK...

A woman in her thirties says I'M FEELING GREAT.
I HAD BEEN WALKING A LOT.
AND SO...

A male voice says WHY ARE YOU HERE?

The woman says I DON'T KNOW IF NECESSARILY
IT MEANS I SHOULD GO OFF THIS
DRUG.

Maureen says NEW DRUGS GIVE
HOPE TO PEOPLE WITH MULTIPLE
SCLEROSIS BUT IS IT FALSE HOPE
FOR SOME?

A male guest says WE WILL PROBABLY FIND THERE
WILL BE MORE AND MORE
EXPENSIVE DRUGS AS WE GET TO
MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT
PROBLEMS THAT HAVE TO BE
SOLVED.

Maureen says JUSTIFYING THE
HIGH COST OF PRESCRIPTION
DRUG.
AND JOE SCHWARCZ WITH AN OLD
FASHIONED CURE-ALL.

Joe says UPSET STOMACH, SKIN RASH, EYE
INFLAMMATION, CHAMOMILE
POULTICE.

(music plays)
The opening sequence begins.

Clips of different people flash against a grey background. A 30-year-old woman with shoulder length black hair looks through a microscope, a 30-year-old with very short black hair holds up her 1-year-old son, a pharmacist counts and organizes red-and-yellow pills, a surgeon cuts into the abdomen of a patient and, finally, a man wearing a ted tank-top lifts weights. An animated microscope, pill bottle, syringe, and small dumbbell fly around the screen.

The title appears: "Your Health."

Maureen stands in a wood-paneled studio with T.V. screens embedded in the walls. She is in her forties, with short wavy red hair. She wears a beige blouse under a gray blazer.

Maureen says HELLO.
I'M MAUREEN TAYLOR.
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF GOOD
NEWS RECENTLY FOR PEOPLE
DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE
SCLEROSIS.
ONE DELAYS THE ONSET OF M.S.
AND THOSE DIAGNOSED WITH M.S.
BUT NOT YET DISABLED THERE ARE
DRUGS THAT CAN SLOW THE
PROGRESSION OF DISABILITY.
THESE DRUGS ARE EXPENSIVE AND
THEY DON'T WORK FOR EVERYONE.
THEY DON'T SEEM TO HELP PEOPLE
WHO NEED THEM MOST.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS IS ONE OF
THOSE DISEASES THAT TRULY
STRIKES IN THE PRIME OF LIFE.
LEESA KOPANSKI WAS ONLY 20
WHEN SHE WAS DIAGNOSED.
TEN YEARS LATER SHE NEEDS A
SCOOTER TO GET AROUND.

A caption eads "Leesa Kopanski."

Leesa is in her thirties, with shoulder-length slightly wavy brown hair in a half-do. She wears pale green top.

She says M.S. IS CHALLENGING.
SIMPLE THINGS LIKE TYING YOUR
SHOES OR SIGNING YOUR NAME
NEATLY IS DIFFICULT IF NOT
NEAR IMPOSSIBLE.
THESE ARE JUST THINGS THAT YOU
PUT UP WITH.

Maureen says GREG TOMASSI WAS
WORKING AS A COMPUTER ANALYST
WHEN HE EXHIBITED HIS FIRST
M.S. SYMPTOMS.

The caption changes to "Greg Tomassi."

Greg is in his forties, with short straight brown hair and a moustache. He wears glasses and a red polo T-shirt.

As he speaks, captions read "I staggered and slurred my speech and they thought I was drunk."

Maureen says WHAT DID THEY DO?

Greg says THEY FIRED ME.

Maureen says HADN'T YOUR
DOCTORS SAID YOU'VE GOT M.S.
AND THAT'S WHY YOUR SPEECH IS
SLURRED?

Greg says I TOOK A LONG TIME
TO GET PROPER DIAGNOSIS.

Maureen says AND BY THE TIME YOU WERE DIAGNOSES?

Greg says IT WAS TOO LATE.

Maureen says TOO LATE FOR WHAT-YOU WERE
FIRED…

Greg says FIRED, AND MY INSURANCE EXPIRED.

Maureen says CAROL SHEPPARD'S
HEALTH DETERIORATED SLOWLY

The caption changes to "Carol Sheppard.

Carol is in her fifties, with short wavy blond hair. She wears glasses and a gingham blue shirt. She carries a kane.

She says ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO I
STARTED TO NOTICE I WAS... MY
LEFT LEG WAS DRAGS... WAS
DRAGGING MORE AND I WAS MORE
TIRED, AND I WAS JUST... AND I
JUST WASN'T ABLE TO DO AS MUCH
AS I HAD BEEN ABLE TO IN THE
PAST.

Maureen says THERE ARE TWO MAIN
TYPES OR PHASES OF M.S.
MOST PEOPLE START OFF WITH
RELAPSING-REMITTING.
THEY HAVE AN ATTACK OF
SYMPTOMS THAT HANG AROUND FOR
A FEW WEEKS, AND THEN GO AWAY.
THE SECOND TYPE, THE ONE GREG
HAS, IS CALLED SECONDARY
PROGRESSIVE.
THERE ARE NO MORE ATTACKS OR
RELAPSES.
THE SYMPTOMS DON'T GO AWAY AND
THE DISABILITY SLOWLY GETS
WORSE AND WORSE.

A doctor says to Leesa I WANT TO CHECK YOUR ARM
COORDINATION.
SO PUSH MY FINGER AND TOUCH
YOUR NOSE.
BACK AND FORTH.

Maureen says UNTIL NOW LEESA'S
M.S. WAS RELAPSING-REMITTING.
HER DOCTOR DROPS A BOMB SHELL.
SHE'S LAPSED TO SECONDARY
PROGRESSIVE.
IT'S A DIAGNOSIS LEESA ISN'T
READY TO ACCEPT.

LEssa says IS THERE EVIDENCE TO SHOW
THAT I AM DEFINITELY MAKING
THIS PROGRESSION, OR THIS
CHANGE IN STAGE FROM RELAPSE
TO SECONDARY?

The doctor says WELL, THE EVIDENCE THAT WE
USE IS THE FACT THAT YOUR
ABILITY TO WALK IS WORSENING
SLOWLY OVER TIME.
TOGETHER WITH THE LACK OF YOU
HAVING ONGOING FLARE-UPS OR
RELAPSES.
SEE WHAT I'M SAYING?

Maureen says WHAT HE'S SAYING
IS NOT ONLY IS HER M.S.
GETTING WORSE, BUT SHE MAY NO
LONGER QUALIFY FOR EXPENSIVE
DRUGS SHE'S TAKING TO TREAT
IT.
KNOWN AS INTERFERONS THE DRUGS
LESSEN THE NUMBER OF ATTACKS
AND SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF
THE DISEASE.
LEESA HAS BEEN TAKING ONE OF
THE DRUGS FOR ALMOST FOUR
YEARS.

Leesa says SINCE I HAVE BEEN ON THE
DRUG, I HAVE NOT HAD TO BE
HOSPITALIZED OR PUT ON ANY
OTHER FORM OF THERAPY.
IN THAT WAY I BELIEVE IT IS
WORKING FOR ME.

Maureen says IF HER M.S. IS
PROGRESSING, THAT MEANS THE
DRUGS AREN'T HELPING ANYMORE.

The doctor says IT SEEMS FROM THE EVIDENCE,
THE STUDY JUST COMPLETED IN
NORTH AMERICA IN INTERFERON,
IT SEEMS THE DRUGS DON'T WORK
FOR PATIENTS IN THE SECONDARY
PROGRESSIVE.

Leesa says BUT I'M FEELING GREAT.

The doctor says GOOD.

Leesa says I'M FEELING GREAT.
I WAS WALKING... I HAD BEEN
WALKING A LOT AND SO...

The doctor says THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR.

I DON'T KNOW IF NECESSARILY
IT MEANS I SHOULD GO OFF THIS
DRUG.

Maureen says LEESA DOESN'T WANT
TO QUIT TAKING THE DRUGS.
IN HER OPINION THEY'RE THE
REASON SHE'S NOT ALREADY IN A
WHEELCHAIR.
GREG TOMASSI WOULD AGREE.
EVEN THOUGH HE WAS SECONDARY
PROGRESSIVE M.S., HE WALKS
WELL.
IF HE THINKS HE COULD ONLY
TAKE THE DRUGS, HE WOULD SAY
MOBILE LONGER.

Maureen says HOW WELL ARE YOU ABLE TO GET AROUND?

Greg says IN THE HOUSE, FINE. OUTSIDE, WITH A CANE.

Maureen says YOU WALK WITH A CANE OUTSIDE?

Greg says YES.

Maureen says NO WHEELCHAIR?

Greg says NOT YET.

Maureen says NO SCOOTER?

Greg says NO. THAT’S WHAT I’M HOPING THESE DRUGS WILL STOP.

Maureen says ACCORDING TO
DOCTOR O'CONNOR, THE DRUGS WON'T
WORK FOR GREG.
THERE IS NO PROOF THE DRUGS
WORK FOR PEOPLE WITH SECONDARY
PROGRESSIVE M.S.

The caption changes to "Doctor Paul O’Connor. Neurologist. Saint Michael’s Hospital."

Paul is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears a black suit, striped shirt and printed tie.

Paul says THE VAST MAJORITY OF
PATIENTS UNDERSTAND THAT OUR
TREATMENT HAS TO BE
EVIDENCE-BASED OR EVIDENCE
EVIDENCE-DIRECTED.
WHEN WE LOOK AT A CERTAIN
PATIENT POPULATION WE HAVE NOT
FOUND A DRUG EFFECT.
THE MOST UNFORTUNATE ASPECT OF
ALL OF THIS IS IT'S TO
PATIENTS WITH THE GREATEST
NEED OF TREATMENT, WITH THE
HIGHEST LEVEL OF DISABILITY
FOR WHOM WE DO NOT HAVE
EFFECTIVE DRUGS.

Maureen says AND THIS IS WHERE
MONEY BECOMES A FACTOR.
IF GREG HAD DRUG BENEFITS OR
IF HE WERE WEALTHY HE COULD
TAKE THE INTERFERONS EVEN
THOUGH THEY MAY BE OF NO
BENEFIT.
YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE
COVERAGE.

Greg says NO.

Maureen says COULD YOUR FAMILY
AFFORD TO PAY FOR THE DRUG
THEMSELVES?

Greg says 18 THOUSAND A YEAR? NO.
NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Maureen says ALL PROVINCES
COVER THE DRUG COSTS FOR
PATIENTS WITH
RELAPSING-REMITTING M.S.
ONLY A FEW EXTEND THAT
COVERAGE FOR PATIENTS WHOSE
M.S. IS MORE ADVANCED.
IN ONTARIO LEESA CAN ONLY STAY
ON THE DRUG IF SHE CAN WALK
100 METRES WITHOUT ASSISTANCE,
SOMETHING SHE ASSURES
DOCTOR O'CONNOR SHE CAN DO.
HE'S CONVINCED TO LET HER
STAY ON THE DRUG FOR NOW.

Paul says I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO
WORRY ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO
STAY ON YOUR BETA-SERON.

Leesa says THAT'S A MAJOR BREATHER,
SIGH.

Paul says I DON'T THINK THAT'S A
PROBLEM.
PROVIDED YOU CAN WALK TO SOME
DEGREE.

Leesa says YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN ME
THIS PAST WEEK.
I WAS WALKING AROUND
EVERYWHERE WITH NOTHING.
AND SO IT'S VERY... IT'S VERY
DECEIVING, AS YOU KNOW.

Paul says YOU'RE WALKING AROUND
WITHOUT A CANE?

Leesa says WITHOUT ANYTHING.

Maureen says GREG WALKS AT
LEAST AS WELL AS LEESA BUT HE
DOESN'T MEET OTHER CRITERIA.
HE HASN'T HAD A RELAPSE IN THE
LAST TWO YEARS.

Paul says FOR THOSE PATIENTS WITH
SECONDARY PROGRESS UF M.S. BUT
WHO HAVE NOT HAD A RELAPSE IN
THE LAST TWO YEARS, THESE
DRUGS ARE NOT BENEFICIAL AS
FAR AS WE CAN TELL FROM THE
EVIDENCE, IN MY OPINION
ANYWAY.
FOR THOSE PATIENTS I WOULDN'T
RECOMMEND GOING ON A BETA
INTERFERON.

Maureen says GREG CAN'T ACCEPT
THAT VERDICT.

Greg says THEY SHOULD APPROVE THE
DRUG BEFORE…WHILE THERE IS SOMETHING
LEFT TO SAVE. BEFORE
A PERSON IS SO DISABLED, THERE’S NOT
SO MUCH LEFT.

Maureen says WOULD IT BE WORSE
FOR YOU TO NOT EVERY GET THE
DRUG OR TO GO ON THE DRUG AND
SEE THAT IT ISN'T, IN FACT,
SLOWING DOWN A DISEASE, THAT
YOU DO END UP IN A WHEELCHAIR?

Greg says THEY’RE BOTH BAD BUT
AT LEAST WE’LL HAVE TRIED.

Maureen says BY THE WAY, IT
TURNS OUT LEESA KOPANSKI DID
NEED TO WORRY ABOUT STAYING ON
THE DRUG.
DESPITE HER DOCTOR'S
INTERVENTION, THE ONTARIO
DRUGS BENEFIT PLAN DETERMINED
HER LEVEL OF DISABILITY MADE
HER INELIGIBLE FOR DRUG
COVERAGE.
FOR GREG AND LEESA, IT'S A
QUESTION WHETHER THE SCIENCE
CAN PROGRESS AS QUICKLY AS
THEIR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

A slate appears with the caption "For more information contact: Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. www.mssoc.ca 1-8000-268-7282."

(music plays)

The logo of the show appears.

The quiz appears on screen.

Maureen says LOUIS PASTURE IS
KNOWN FOR THE PASTEURIZATION
PROCESS.
BUT WHAT OTHER MEDICAL
INNOVATIONS DID HE COME UP
WITH?
RABIES VACCINE, PENICILLIN OR
INSULIN?
THE ANSWER LATER ON "YOUR
HEALTH."

Now Maureen sits in the studio with two guests.

She says EARLIER WE HEARD ABOUT THE
STAGGERING COST OF NEW DRUGS
FOR M.S. AND HOW THEIR PRICE
PUTS THEM OUT OF REACH FOR
SOME PATIENTS.
WHY DO SOME DRUGS COST SO
MUCH?
WHAT CAN JUSTIFY THE 18 OR
20,000 DOLLAR A YEAR PRICE TAG?
MURRAY ELSTON IS PRESIDENT OF
RX and D.
DOCTOR JOEL LEXCHIN IS AN E.R.
DOCTOR AND MEMBER OF THE
MEDICAL REFORM GROUP.
WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.
MURRAY, WHAT COULD JUSTIFY AN
18,000 OR 20,000 DOLLAR A YEAR
PRICE TAG FOR ONE DRUG?

The caption changes to "Murray Elston. President of RX and D."

Murray is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt and printed tie.

Murray says I THINK, MAUREEN, WHAT'S
CAUSING THE BIGGEST PROBLEM
ARE THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF
RESOURCING GOING TO FIND THE
CURES FOR PROBLEMATIC DISEASES
AND THE M.S. WHICH WE SAW
DEMONSTRATES ONE OF THOSE
PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT
PROBLEMS TO SOLVE.
IN FACT, IT PROBABLY... ALL
SHOW... ALTHOUGH SEEMS TO BE
AN EXCEPTIONAL CASE, THERE WILL
BE MORE AND MORE EXPENSIVE
DRUGS AS WE GET INTO MORE AND
MORE DIFFICULT PROBLEMS WE
HAVE TO SOLVE.
THE GOOD NEWS IS WE ARE ABLE
TO DO THAT BUT IT TAKES A LOT
OF PEOPLE, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN
TO RESEARCH, IT TAKES
RESOURCING, A LOT OF VERY
EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT.
IT'S NOT JUST THE CHEMISTS AND
MATHEMATICIAN.
IT'S SOMEBODY THAT KNOWS HOW
TO PRAY COMPUTERS, SOFTWARE
DEVELOPMENT.

Maureen says IT'S THE REAL
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

Murray says IT'S EXACTLY THAT.
THERE'S THE TRAINING REQUIRED
FOR THE APPLICATION OF THOSE
MEDICATIONS AS WELL AND THE
REGULATION THAT REQUIRES US TO
GET APPROVALS THROUGH VARIOUS
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.

Maureen says DOCTOR LEXCHIN?

The caption changes to "Doctor Joel Lexchin. Medical Reform Group.":

Joel is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short receding wavy brown hair. He wears a denim shirt.

Joel says 40 percent OF THE RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT COSTS THAT
COMPANIES INCUR ARE WRITTEN
OFF IN TAX DEDUCTIONS.
IN FACT, HERE IN CANADA, THE
CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA IN
THE SUMMER RELEASED A REPORT
AND STATISTICS CANADA RELEASED
A REPORT THAT SHOWED OUT OF 10
OR 11 INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES,
CANADA HAS THE BEST TAX
CREDITS FOR R and D.
YOU'RE ONLY SPENDING 60-CENT
DOLLARS.

Murray says YOU HAVE TO KNOW, JOEL, OUR
DEFINITION OF RESEARCH AND THE
DEDUCTIONS ALLOWED UNDER
REVENUE CANADA'S DEFINITIONS
ARE EXTREMELY DIFFERENT FROM
THOSE INTERNATIONALLY.
WHEN YOU ASSERT THAT, YOU ARE
UNDER-ESTIMATING THE
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF YEARS
THAT GO BY.
IT ALSO, BY THE WAY,
RECOMMENDS FOR GOOD READING
THE NUMBER OF FAILURES IN THE
TERMS OF THE AMOUNT OF
RESEARCH WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING
FOR PRODUCTS THAT WORK.

Maureen says WHAT'S THE
STATISTIC.

Murray says ONE OUT OF EVERY 10,000
MOLECULES.

Joel says THAT DOESN'T AFFECT THE
PROFITS THE INDUSTRY HAS.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE PROFITS THE
INDUSTRY HAS IN CANADA FROM
'88 TO '95, THE PRETAX PROFITS
ON SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY WAS
ABOUT 30 percent.

Maureen says YOU HAVE AN
EXAMPLE OF A DRUG THAT'S BEING
PRESCRIBED BY DOCTORS THAT IS
MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ANOTHER
DRUG THAT WOULD DO THE JOB
JUST AS WELL.

Joel says THERE ARE LOTS OF EXAMPLES.
ONE OF THEM ARE DRUGS FOR HIGH
BLOOD PRESSURE.
FIRST OF ALL, WHAT ARE THE
DRUGS PROVEN TO REDUCE
MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY?
THE DIURETICS, THE ONES THAT
COST A FEW CENTS A DAY.
WHICH ARE THE ONES THE DRUG
COMPANIES ARE DETAILING THE
HEAVIEST, THE ONE WITH RISING
PRESCRIPTIONS AND THE MOST
EXPENSIVE?
THEY ARE THE CALCIUM CHANNEL
BLOCKERS AND THE ACE
INHIBITORS.
THE ONES THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN
SHOWN TO REDUCE MORBIDITY AND
MORTALITY IN UNCOMPLICATED
HYPERTENSION.

Murray says WHAT HE DOES IS RELATE A
RESTRICTION ON HIS ANALYSIS.
THE NEW PRODUCTS ARE MORE
EXPENSIVE BECAUSE THEY MEET
MORE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF
TODAY'S MEDICINE.
IT IS IN SITUATIONS WHERE
THERE IS AN UNCOMPLICATED CASE,
AS HE HAS IDENTIFIED, THEN YOU
SHOULD GO TO THAT
PRESCRIPTION.

Joel says BUT THEY'RE NOT THE ONES
YOU'RE PROMOTING.

Murray says THEY ARE WORKING MOST OF
THE TIME.

Joel says THEY ARE NOT THE ONES YOU
ARE PROMOTING.
THESE ARE THE ONES... THE
DIURETICS HAVE DECLINING
SALES.

Murray says THE ONES WE ARE PROMOTING
ARE THE ONES WE HAVE
DISCOVERED, OUR INDUSTRY HAS
FOUND THE NEXT GENERATION OF
MEDICATIONS.
WE HAVE TO SOLVE THE NEXT
SERIES OF PROBLEMS.
WE ARE THE
INNOVATORS.

Maureen says LET ME ASK, DOCTOR
LEXCHIN.
IF I'M A NEW DOCTOR AND I HAVE
TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THESE
DIURETICS WHO'S GOING TO TELL
ME ABOUT THAT?

Murray says MEDICAL SCHOOLS AND OTHER
PLACES THAT YOU CAN ACQUIRE
THE INFORMATION.
YOU CAN DO IT THROUGH THIRD
PARTY.
JOEL IS A PERSON THAT GOES OUT
AND GIVES SOME RELATIVELY
INTERESTING SPEECHES AT TIME.
NOT ALWAYS SPEECHES WHICH I
MIGHT ENJOY.
YOU KNOW SOMETHING?
THAT'S NOT WRONG.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO
HAVE A WHOLE MENU SO WE CAN
FIND OUT WHAT EXACTLY IS THE
RIGHT PRESCRIPTION.

Maureen says WHAT'S THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DOCTOR,
THE PHYSICIAN NOT TO BE SWAYED
BY GLITZY NEW PROMOTIONS FROM
DRUG COMPANIES?

Joel says DOCTORS HAVE A
RESPONSIBILITY TO LOOK AT ALL
THE EVIDENCE AND TO EVALUATE
IT PROPERLY.
HAVING SAID THAT, HOWEVER,
DOCTORS, DESPITE WHAT THEY MAY
SOMETIMES THINK, ARE ONLY
HUMAN.
THEY ARE AS VULNERABLE TO WHAT
THE DRUG COMPANIES HAVE TO SAY
AS ANYBODY ELSE IS TO ANY
OTHER KIND OF PROMOTION.
WHEN YOU LOOK AGAIN AT THE
STUDIES, THERE HAVE BEEN ABOUT
TEN OF THEM OVER THE PAST
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS THAT SHOW
THE MORE DOCTORS RELY ON
INFORMATION THEY GET FROM
PROMOTION, THE DETAILERS, THE
SALES REPS, THE JOURNAL ADS,
THE CONTINUING MEDICAL
EDUCATION PUT ON DIRECTLY BY
THE DRUG COMPANIES, THE MORE
THEY RELY ON INFORMATION FROM
THOSE SOURCES, THE WORSE THEY
ARE AS PRESCRIBERS.

Murray says THAT'S HIS SUBJECTIVE
JUDGMENT OF THEIR WORST
PRESCRIBERS.

Joel says MURRAY, WHAT IS PUBLISHED
IN THE STUDIES...

Murray says TO ACQUIRE INFORMATION…

Joel says IF YOU DON'T BUY IT, THAT'S
YOUR PROBLEM.

Maureen says HE'S SAYING THERE
ARE STUDIES THAT SHOW THESE
DOCTORS...

Murray says JOEL MAKES SUBJECTIVE
DECISIONS ALL THE TIME.
HE PUTS THE CASE AND DEFINES
IT TO THE MOST SIMPLIFIED
VERSION.
WHAT WE SAW ON THE TV WAS NOT
THE MOST SIMPLIFIED VERSION OF
THE PROBLEM.
THIS PRODUCT IS AVAILABLE TO
PEOPLE WITH A VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT DISEASE.
THAT'S THE SITUATION WHERE WE
REQUIRE A LOT MORE EDUCATION
THAN JOEL CAN GIVE...

Maureen says 27 percent OF CANADIANS
DON'T HAVE DRUG INSURANCE.

Murray says THERE ARE LOTS OF
PROGRAMMES AVAILABLE IN
VARIOUS PROVINCES.
IN SOME PROVINCES, AS YOU KNOW,
THE PEOPLE ARE FULLY COVERED.
SASKATCHEWAN, B.C. HAS THEIR
MODEL.
QUEBEC HAS THEIR MODEL.
ONTARIO HAS A MORE TIERED
RESPONSE TO MEDICATIONS.
AND THEN YOU HAVE A SITUATION
IDENTIFIED IN THE VIDEO, A
PLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE ON AN
EMPLOYER RELATED DRUG
PROGRAMME.
THERE ARE CERTAIN SITUATIONS
THAT WILL ATTRACT DONATIONS BY
COMPANIES TO EXCEPTIONAL
CIRCUMSTANCES.
FOR INSTANCE, IF A PERSON IS
ON A DRUG DURING A CLINICAL
TRIAL AS HAS HAPPENED RECENTLY,
THEY CAN CONTINUE ON THE
CLINICAL TRIAL UNTIL IT IS
APPROVED FOR USE IN THE
COUNTRY.
THERE ARE OTHER SITUATIONS
WHERE IF THERE IS AN
OUTSTANDING NEED WHICH ARISES,
THAT THERE ARE RESPONSES BY
DRUG COMPANIES TO PROVIDE SOME
COVERAGE FOR INDIVIDUAL
PATIENTS.

Maureen says I THINK EVEN
INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE GOING
TO LOOK AT THIS AND SAY TOO
MUCH.
WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD...
DEDUCTIBLES WILL GET GREATER.
JOEL DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS
WHETHER WE WILL BE ABLE TO
AFFORD DRUGS IN THE FUTURE
WELL, IT DEPENDS ON...

Murray says THEY ARE A CENTRAL FEATURE
OF OUR HEALTH SYSTEM.

Joel says IT DEPENDS ON THE
PRIORITIES OUR SYSTEM WILL
DECIDE ON.
MURRAY IS RIGHT.
HE WILL BE SHOCKED TO HEAR
THAT.

Murray says WE GET ALONG ON A NUMBER OF
THINGS.
THERE ARE A FEW WE DON'T.

Joel says THE REASONS THEY'RE SO
EXPENSIVE WE CAN DEBATE, BUT I
THINK YOU WILL SEE MORE OF
THESE, AND I THINK SOCIETY IN
GENERAL IS GOING TO HAVE TO
COME TO GRIPS WITH WHETHER OR
NOT THEY'RE WILLING TO PAY FOR
THESE PRODUCTS.
MAYBE THEY'RE NOT.
MAYBE WE WILL SAY TO PEOPLE
WHO HAVE M.S. AND PEOPLE WHO
HAVE OTHER DISEASES.
SORRY, TOO EXPENSIVE.
YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN.

Murray says I DON'T THINK THAT WILL
HAPPEN.

Joel says PROBABLY NOT.
IT'S A DECISION THAT MURRAY'S
COMPANY AND MY PROFESSION
ALONE SHOULD NOT BE MAKING.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WILL
HAVE TO BE MADE BY A SOCIETY
IN GENERAL.
IT'S GOING TO REQUIRE A REAL
DEBATE AS TO WHAT THE
PRIORITIES ARE.

Maureen says FINAL QUESTION:
THIS WAS A HOT ISSUE IN THE
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
SOME PEOPLE DOWN THERE ARE
PAYING MORE FOR DRUGS THAN WE
ARE UP HERE.
MURRAY, DO CANADIANS HAVE
ANYTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT?

Murray says IN HEALTH CARE TERMS THE
QUESTIONING MIND IS THE BEST
ONE.
THERE IS ALWAYS A NEED FOR
PEOPLE TO DEBATE AROUND THE
VARIOUS ISSUES.
THIS IS AN ETHICAL ISSUE
AROUND WHICH WE HAVE JUST
OPENED THE QUESTION HERE ABOUT
WHAT ARE SOCIETY'S RESPONSE
FOR THE NEED OF A DRUG BY A
PERSON WITH A DISEASE?
WE SHOULD QUESTION IT AND
ALWAYS PUSH AROUND INFORMATION
HOW THE DRUGS ARE DEVELOPED.
WHAT WILL MAKE IT MORE
DIFFICULT TO COME UP WITH NEW
MEDICATIONS THAT ARE LESS
EXPENSIVE IS THE FACT WE WILL
CONTINUE TO TARGET MORE AND
MORE DIFFICULT DISEASES AND
FIND NEW WAYS OF DELIVERY THAT
WE HAVE NOT THOUGHT OF AT THE
MOMENT NOR HAS THE PRESIDENT
ELECT THOUGHT OF PROBABLY.
BUT IN MY VIEW, WHEN WE GET
MORE FOCUSSED ON THE
APPLICATION OF MEDICATIONS
WHEN THEY CANNOT BE GENERALLY
APPLIED IN DISEASE CLASSES,
THEY WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE TO
ADMINISTER TO SMALL NUMBERS OF
PATIENTS.

Maureen says WOULD YOU LIKE TO
SEE MORE CONTROL OVER DRUG
PRICES THAN WE ALREADY HAVE?

Joel says I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH
CONTROL OVER DRUG PRICES.
WHAT WE DON'T HAVE CONTROL
OVER IS HOW THE DRUGS ARE
USED.
CONTRARY TO MURRAY, THERE'S
GOOD EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE
MORE EXPENSIVE PRODUCTS ARE
THE ONES USED IN SITUATIONS
WHERE THEY HAVE NO ADDED VALUE
AT ALL.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE... IF YOU
LOOK AT THINGS LIKE DEPRESSION
AND THE SSRIs, THE SERATONINS RE--UPTAKE INHIBITOR,
IT'S THE SAME BUT THERE IS A
SLIGHTLY DROPOUT RATE.
5 percent DROPOUT RATE OF PEOPLE WHO
TAKE THE OLDER PRODUCT.
30 percent VERSUS THE 25 percent FOR THE
SSRIs.
NOT A MAJOR DIFFERENCE BUT
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE DESCRIBED
MORE, THE SSRIs, IN THE RANGE
OF 1.50 TO 3.50 DOLLARS AND THE
OLDER PRODUCTS THAT GO
AROUND 50 CENTS IN A PILL.

Murray says LESS SIDE EFFECTS.
MORE COMPLIANCE.

Joel says 5 percent DIFFERENCE... ABOUT A 5 percent
DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF DROPOUT
RATE, MURRAY.

Maureen says WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.
WE COULD DEBATE DRUG BY DRUG.

Murray says I CAN'T KEEP UP TO JOEL
DRUG BY DRUG.
IN MANY WAYS THE BIGGEST THING
WE ARE LOOKING AT IS SOLVING
PROBLEMS WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE
TO SOLVE UP TO NOW.
IT COSTS MONEY AND TAKES
INVESTMENT AND CAUSES ISSUES
AROUND PRICE.

Maureen says WE HAVE TO LEAVE
IT THERE.
THANK YOU.
COMING UP.

Joe says NERVOUS OR ANXIOUS.
CHAMOMILE TEA.

Maureen says JOE'S HERBS LATER
ON "YOUR HEALTH."

The logo of the show appears.

Now Maureen stands next to a screen with the caption "Health Digest. Germs."

Maureen says NOW SOME STORIES
FROM THE HEALTH FILES.
THERE'S MORE EVIDENCE THOSE
ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS WON'T
GIVE AWE GERM-FREE
ENVIRONMENT.
BACTERIA ARE DEVELOPING
RESISTANCE TO THEM.
THE AMERICAN MEDICAL
ASSOCIATION IS STUDYING THE
ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES OF
TRICLOZAN.
DOCTORS SAY IT WOULD MAKE A
GOOD BACTERIA FIGHTING DRUG
BUT PUTTING IT IN SOAP IS LIKE
WASHING YOUR HAIR WITH
PENICILLIN.
DOCTORS HAD NO PROBLEM MAKING
STRAINS OF COMMON BACTERIA
SUCH AS E. COLI RESISTANT TO
TRICLOZAN.

The caption on the screen changes to "Asthma."

Maureen says A STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE NEW
ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
SAYS CHILDREN NEED THE ODD
COLD TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY
IMMUNE SYSTEM.
BABIES THAT SPEND TIME IN DAY
CARE OR AROUND OLDER SIBLINGS
ARE LESS LIKELY TO DEVELOP
ASTHMA LATER IN LIFE.

The caption on the screen changes to "Milk fat."

Maureen says FEEL FREE TO GIVE YOUR
CHILDREN SKIM MILK AND LOW FAT
CHEESE.
NOT ONLY WILL IT PROTECT THEM
FROM OBESITY AND HEART DISEASE,
IT WON'T HAMPER THEIR
BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.
THERE WAS CONCERN BRAIN CELLS
NEEDED FAT TO DEVELOP
PROPERLY.
A STUDY ON THE IRREVERSIBLE
BRAIN DAMAGE IN MALNOURISHED
CHILDREN.
IN A FINNISH STUDY COMPARING
CHILDREN WHO ATE A NORMAL DIET
AND A DIET WITH LOW
CHOLESTEROL, SCIENTIST FOUND THE
NEUROLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF KIDS IN
THE LOW FAT GROUP WAS AT LEAST AS GOOD
AS THAT OF THE KIDS IN THE CONTROL GROUP.

The answer to the quiz appears on screen.

Maureen says MOST PEOPLE KNOW MILK IS SAFE
TO DRINK THANKS TO LOUIS
PASTURE.
HE ALSO DEVELOPED THE RABIES
VACCINE.

Maureen says THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A HOT CUP
OF TEA TO SOOTH YOUR NERVES.
IF IT'S CHAMOMILE TEA.
CHAMOMILE HAS A LONG LIST OF
HEALING PROPERTIES AND IT'S A
REMEDY WITH A LONG HISTORY FOR
JOE SCHWARCZ.

Joe appears in a lab.

A caption reads "Doctor Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry."

Joe is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears a black suit, a gray shirt and silver tie.

He says THE FIRST DRUG I COOK IN
WAS RIGHT HERE, CHAMOMILE.
IT WAS MY MOTHER'S REMEDY FOR
EVERYTHING.
COULDN'T DRINK AT NIGHT, DRANK
CHAMOMILE TEA.
UPSET STOMACH, SKIN RASH, EYE
INFLAMMATION, CHAMOMILE
POULTICE.
GERMANS CALL IT GERMAN
CHAMOMILE.
AUDACIOUSLY THEY SAY GENUINE
CHAMOMILE.
I LIKE TO THINK HUNGARIAN IS
AS GENUINE AS ANY CHAMOMILE.
COULD THESE PROPERTIES BE
REAL?
MODERN CHEMISTRY SAYS THERE'S
A SLEW OF ACTIVE INGREDIENTS.
ONE HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
PROPERTIES, ANTIBACTERIAL
PROPERTIES AND ANTISPASMODIC
PROPERTIES.
THE PROBLEM LIKE ANY PRODUCT
IS DOSE.
WE MAKE THE TEA OUT OF DRIED
FLOWERS.
HOW MUCH WATER WILL WE USE?
WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE OF THE
WATER?
ALL OF THOSE WILL DETERMINE
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES
OF THIS BEVERAGE.
THESE DAYS THERE'S PRODUCTS
THAT FORMULATED CHAMOMILE
CREAMS AND LOTIONS, AND THEY
MAKE CLAIMS IN TERMS OF
HEALING PROPERTIES.
YOU KNOW WHAT?
THOSE CLAIMS KIND OF MAKE ME
SICK.
THEY MAKE ME TENSE IN THE
STOMACH.
THEY MAKE ME ANXIOUS.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT I DO WHEN
THAT HAPPENS?
I TAKE MY MOTHER'S ADVICE AND
I HAVE A NICE CUP OF SOOTHING
CHAMOMILE.

Maureen says THANKS, JOE.
YOU CAN GET A TRANSCRIPT OF
JOE'S HERBAL ADVICE ON OUR
WEBSITE.
VISIT WWW.TVO.ORG/YOURHEALTH.
THE OTHER ADDRESSES IN A
MOMENT.
FIRST A LOOK AT A STORY FOR
NEXT WEEK'S PROGRAMME.

A man in his fifties says YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T HAVE
CHOCOLATE AND YOU CAN'T HAVE
BUTTER AND YOU CAN'T HAVE ICE
SCREAM AND THE LIST GOES ON
AND ON AND ON.
HOLD ON A MINUTE HERE.

Maureen says IF YOU'RE LACTOSE
INTOLERANT, TUNE IN NEXT WEEK.
IT MIGHT BE SAFE TO GO BACK TO
THE DAIRY COUNTER.
THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE
FOR THIS PROGRAMME.
I'M MAUREEN TAYLOR.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.

A slate appears with the caption "Email: yourhealth@tvo.org. Fax: 416-484-4519. Mail: Box 200, Station Q. Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1."

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Executive producer: Patricia Ellingson.

Producer: Cathy Perry.

Director: Michael Smith.

CEP Local 72m.

A production of TVOntario.

Copyright 2000. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #10