In June 2016, Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced that the Ministry would launch a series of consultations this summer to determine whether or not additional transparency around payments made to healthcare professionals and organizations from the private sector is required, as well as what measures should be put in place to increase transparency in this area. These consultations are taking place as part of Ontario’s wider commitment to open government.
On August 2, 2017, OPA participated in a consultation led by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on the matter of transparency of payments by pharmaceutical companies to health care professionals and organizations. As many pharmacists will recall, in 2006, the Ontario government sought increased transparency in payments made by pharmaceutical companies to community pharmacies and ultimately enacted the “Transparency in Drug System for Patients Act” (TDSPA), more commonly referred to as “Bill 102”
The Ontario Pharmacists Association is participating in these consultations on behalf of members, acknowledging that transparency needs to be a fundamental principle in the provision to Ontarians of unbiased, evidence-based pharmacotherapy. The Association also believes that brand and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers are important health stakeholders that should partner with health providers to continue to advance Ontario’s health system to ensure that pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are appropriately informed of new products and indications.
For this particular consultation mentioned above, attention has been on physicians and other health care organizations. However, OPA will be watching the breadth of this process very closely and will convey information to members as it becomes available.
Ontario Pharmacists Association staff met with representatives from the Ministry on August 2, 2017, and we will share information about the outcomes of the consultation as it becomes available.