Question 1: The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research in 2012 that showed one in ten Canadians report they skip doses or decide not to fill prescriptions because of cost, with the second highest incidence of cost non-adherence happening in the Atlantic Provinces.
If elected to government, what will your party do to make prescription medications more affordable?
ANSWER: A Progressive Conservative government will implement a 20% reduction in the co-pay for seniors’ drugs. In our party’s Senior’s Platform we stated that there is also a need for broader reforms to our drug programs, especially catastrophic drug coverage. An effective catastrophic drug program could help us support more Islanders, meet pressing health needs and realize cost savings. We will review the current structure of existing drug programs to provide better support, allowing Islanders to better manage their own personal health and help reduce health care costs.
We will also review current purchasing practices with suppliers and distributers within the current system with the objective of creating greater cost efficiencies. We will also explore opportunities for bulk purchases and distribution with our neighbouring provinces.
Question 2: A key element of ensuring timely treatment for a cancer patient is ensuring they have access to the medications they need at the time they need them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Prince Edward Island.
If elected to government, will you:
A) Commit to ensuring that all cancer patients in Prince Edward Island receive timely access to medications at the time they need it?
ANSWER: Our party is concerned that it takes our province almost twice as long as Ontario for example to add cancer drugs to our formulary that have been already been approved by the national pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review. The average wait for P.E.I. is 309 days, as compared to 150 days in Ontario.
A Progressive Conservative government will consult with the provincial drug review committee to reform the approval process so that licensed medications are approved more quickly.
B) Undertake negotiations leading to regional collaboration to ensure timely patient access to cancer drugs?
As a Progressive Conservative government we will undertake to negotiate and consult with our regional partners to provide timely patient access to cancer drugs.
Many Islanders are concerned about the link between cancer and pesticide use in the agricultural industry. If elected to government, what will your party do to address this issue?
ANSWER: A Progressive Conservative government is committed to a working with our agricultural community to ensure strict adherence and enforcement of regulations surrounding the use of chemicals and sprays in our province. We will also work with our agriculture industry in support of efforts to minimize the use of pesticides to further mitigate risks to our farmers, their neighbours and our environment.